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Kraven the Hunter comics

While many super villains in comic books are primarily associated with one superhero, that doesn't mean they can't occasionally fight around, to quote Will Arnett's Batman. Take Kraven the Hunter, who was introduced in 1964's The Amazing Spider-Man #15. His main beef has been with the Web-Slinger, but one of the other heroes he's tangled with is Black Panther. As a result, when director/co-writer Ryan Coogler was developing the Black Panther movie, he asked if he could incorporate Kraven into the story, only to have his request refused. Coogler explained:

Being a Marvel fan, you want to grab all the characters. You realise there's contractual things. You don't have that character. There was a Christopher Priest run that was pretty heavy, there's a big scene where Panther's fighting Kraven, Kraven the Hunter. I've always loved Kraven the Hunter in almost every iteration. So there was a moment -- 'Can I grab Kraven?' -- and they were 'Nah, you don't have Kraven.' He was one where I thought 'Oh, man.' But I don't even know if he would have worked in the movie we ended up with, this was the early days.

Ryan Coogler was confirmed to be co-writing and directing Black Panther in January 2016, nearly a full year after Marvel and Sony decided to partner together with Spider-Man on film, and four months before Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther and Tom Holland's Spider-Man would debut in Captain America: Civil War. So even though Kraven the Hunter still technically belongs at Sony with the other Spider-Man characters, it's possible that an arrangement could have been worked out to have T'Challa and Kraven go mano a mano on the big screen, calling back to their clash in the Christopher Priest Black Panther comic book run. However, as Coogler recalled to Yahoo, Marvel wouldn't let him use the character, which led to him using established Black Panther foes like Erik Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue (known as Klaw in the comics).

Kraven the Hunter is one of the Spider-Man villains that hasn't been adapted for film yet, though when the Amazing Spider-Man series was still running, the plan was for him to be part of the Sinister Six. Last year, it was reported that Kraven and fellow Spidey baddie Mysterio are being considered for standalone spinoffs, like Venom and Silver & Black. Even if a Kraven-centric project doesn't materialize, we can't discount that Kraven could be used as an antagonist in a future Spider-Man movie. However, given that Black Panther has a relatively small rogues gallery, if Black Panther 2 is greenlit (and given the early critical reception and ticket pre-sales, there's a good chance that will happen), perhaps Marvel and Sony would be willing to play ball this time around and relocate Kraven to Wakanda for the sequel.

Black Panther arrives in theaters next Friday, February 16, and T'Challa will return alongside Spider-Man and the MCU's other major heroes for Avengers: Infinity War on May 4 and Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019. Peter Parker will swing back into action for Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 on July 5, 2019, and once we learn new information regarding plans for any of his villains in the MCU, we here at CinemaBlend will be sure to let you know.