Aaron Taylor-Johnson On Changing Things Up For Kraven The Hunter After Playing Quicksilver And Kick-Ass

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron
(Image credit: Disney)

Aaron Taylor-Johnson hasn’t spoken much about his role as Kraven the Hunter (though we have gotten a sense of what his physique will look like, thanks to a ripped photoshoot he did ahead of filming the Spider-Man spinoff). Of course, he isn’t a stranger to the superhero genre, having previously played Quicksilver in the Marvel Cinematic Universe  and the vigilante Kick-Ass. Though his turn as the famous comic book antihero should be something very different. On that note, Taylor-Johnson recently discussed changing things up for the next installment in Sony's Spider-Man Universe after playing his former superhero roles.

It's fair to say that Kick-Ass' Dave Lizewski and Avengers: Age of Ultron's Pietro Maximoff are two very distinct characters. And that's a testament to the fact that Aaron Taylor-Johnson never aims to play the same character twice. The star opened up about how he views his role as the big-game hunter and, as he explained, the role is a new challenge for him to take on as he continues to evolve as a performer:

I, as a person, am naturally changing and evolving. New things inspire me, and you grow as a person. So I can only move forward and play things I haven’t done before. I like a challenge, and I like to step outside of my comfort zone, often. It’s more interesting to go from an indie to a blockbuster or whatever it may be. Some people like to go on holiday to the same place every year, but I like to explore different places. So there’s a lot that really excited me about the character of Kraven. Sometimes, these roles come about, and you have to truly believe in the character. You’re going to be in that skin for a while, and you have to believe in what you’re saying. So there was a lot about Kraven that I really loved, and I’m excited to share it at some point.

The 32-year-old actor seems very invested in playing the iconic Spider-Man antagonist. Whereas Kick-Ass and Quicksilver were seen as rather reserved guys fighting for the average citizen, Sergei Kravinoff is a maniacal and brazen man with an over-the-top personality. This makes him a great character to bring to the big screen. Many actors say that playing the bad guy is more fun than being the hero. The Nocturnal Animals alum is sure to relish his time as Kraven and, in the process, it could help him break new ground in his career.

As mentioned during the same interview with THR, the actor scored the role after impressing Sony executives through the dailies for his latest film, Bullet Train. Things further worked out for Aaron Taylor-Johnson after he hit it off with Kraven the Hunter director J.C. Chandor and producer Matt Tolmach. He called the meeting “one of those magical and rare moments where the stars align.” Taylor-Johnson also celebrated the fact that the Spider-verse film was shot on location, saying that the practical aspect was important in making the lead character's story more authentic and personal.

In addition to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the Kraven the Hunter cast is filled with some notable names. Playing Kraven's love interest, Calypso, is West Side Story's Ariana DeBose, while White Lotus' Fred Hechinger plays his half-brother, classic Spidey villain The Chalameon. Russell Crowe is in the mix and playing an undisclosed role, with Christopher Abbott and Alessandro Nivola as the film’s villains. 

At this point, fans only know a few things about Kraven's solo outing. But one thing we can at least infer from Aaron Taylor-Johnson's comments is that he won't be leaning heavily on his former comic book movie performances (or any of his past work, for that matter) to bring the lead character to life.

Kraven the Hunter is set to arrive in theaters on January 13, 2023. In the meantime, check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 movie schedule for info on the flicks that are hitting theaters during the remainder of the year.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).