Plenty of Spider-Man villains have been adapted for film over the last two decades, but one of the Web-Slinger’s most iconic villains who still hasn’t made the jump to the big screen yet is Sergei Kravinoff, a.k.a. Kraven the Hunter. However, that’s changing soon, because while there are no plans for Kraven to battle the costumed Peter Parker in a Spider-Man movie, he is leading his own feature in the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters. Now we finally know who’s bringing Kraven to life: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, a.k.a. the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Quicksilver.
This casting news comes straight from Sony Pictures, making this Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s third superhero movie role. He first jumped into the genre as Dave Lizewski in the Kick-Ass movies, and then followed that up playing Pietro Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now he’s taking center stage as Kraven the Hunter, who made his comic book debut in 1964’s The Amazing Spider-Man #15.
For those unfamiliar with Kraven the Hunter, he’s a big game hunter who was born into Russian aristocracy and is the half-brother of Dmitri Smerdyakov, a.k.a. The Chameleon. Kraven ingested a mystical serum that increased his strength and slowed down his aging, but after growing bored with defeating the world’s most dangerous animals with his bare hands, he set his sights on a different kind of prey: Spider-Man. Kraven has tangled with Spidey numerous times both on his own and as a member of the Sinister Six, and he was the central antagonist of the 1987 crossover event “Kraven’s Last Hunt.”
Outside of the comics, Kraven the Hunter’s appearances range from cartoons like Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Ultimate Spider-Man to video games like Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Had the Amazing Spider-Man film series kept going, director Marc Webb revealed that Kraven would have appeared in the Sinister Six movie and The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler had also wanted to use Kraven in the “early days” of planning T’Challa’s solo movie.
Besides his superhero movie work, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s other notable credits from recent years include Godzilla, The Wall, Outlaw King and Tenet. In addition to joining Kraven the Hunter, he’s long completed work on The King’s Man (the third installment of the Kingsman film series) and is currently working with Brad Pitt on Bullet Train, a fellow Sony Pictures flick. As for why Johnson was selected to play Kraven the Hunter, according to Deadline reporter Justin Kroll, Sony executives offered him the part after seeing footage of him in Bullet Train.
No plot details for Kraven the Hunter have been revealed yet, but Triple Frontier’s J.C. Chandor will direct the feature, while Art Marcum, Matt Holloway and Richard Wenk worked on the script. Kraven the Hunter will drop in theaters on January 13, 2023 as the fourth SPUMC movie, following Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Morbius. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on its development.