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Kraven The Hunter: 6 Quick Things We Know About The Sony Movie

Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter from Marvel Comics
(Image credit: Marvel)

So far, the Marvel movies have given us an interesting plethora of Spider-Man villains, including two different iterations each of Green Goblin, Venom, Doctor Octopus, and even Sandman as well (if you count the sand-based elemental in Spider-Man: Far From Home, that is). However, one member of the webslinger’s rogues gallery who has never appeared in any superhero movies (despite plenty of demand) is Kraven the Hunter, but that will all change when Sony’s upcoming solo movie starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the ruthless predator comes out. So, when exactly will that be? That is the first detail we will reveal in the following breakdown of the most essential facts we know so far about the Kraven the Hunter movie. 

Kraven the Hunter and Spider-Man from Marvel Comics

(Image credit: Marvel)

Kraven The Hunter Is Set For A January 2023 Release 

Kraven the Hunter’s maiden voyage to the big screen has been a topic of conversation for a while now. In 2014, director Marc Webb confirmed that one of the character’s spears can be seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a tease for his appearances in the Sinister Six movie and The Amazing Spider-Man 3 before both projects were cancelled. Ryan Coogler would later reveal he had plans to put the villain in 2018’s Black Panther and Jon Watts (director of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man movies) has expressed that he wishes he could have given Kraven a spot in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Well, instead of making his feature-film debut in a supporting role, Kraven the Hunter will see the character capturing the spotlight for himself in his own upcoming solo movie, which was first given the green light in 2018. Currently, the movie is set to release on Friday, January 13, 2023. The lucky actor chosen to play the title role is someone who already has plenty of experience acting in comic book movies.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron

(Image credit: Disney)

Aaron Taylor-Johnson Is Playing Kraven The Hunter

Aaron Taylor-Johnson made his comic book movie debut as the titular hero of 2010’s Kick-Ass, which also starred X-Men: Days of Future Past’s Quicksilver actor Evan Peters. Ironically, after reprising the powerless vigilante in a 2013 sequel, Taylor-Johnson was cast in Avengers: Age of Ultron as the MCU’s iteration of Quicksilver. Looks like the British actor will have to dust off that "Sokovian" accent when he plays Russian-born Kraven the Hunter in the upcoming solo movie.

Joining Taylor-Johnson on the Kraven the Hunter cast is Fred Hechinger of The White Lotus cast and the Fear Street movies fame. He will star as the title character's half-brother Dmitri Nikolaievich Smerdyakov (better known as the criminal master of disguise called the Chameleon).  Who knows what other Spider-Man characters we hoped to see in the film might appear?

Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck in Triple Frontier

(Image credit: Netflix)

Triple Frontier's J.C. Chandor Is Directing The Kraven The Hunter Movie 

In 2018, when the film was still in the early stages of development, Antoine Fuqua (known for directing films like Training Day and the more recent Netflix thriller The Guilty) was in talks to helm the Kraven the Hunter movie. Ultimately, in 2020, the job instead went to J.C. Chandor - a selection that came with a few other changes to the production from behind the scenes, but we will get to that later.

Chandor was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for penning the screenplay for his feature-length debut film Margin Call, which he followed up by directing Robert Redford in an Oscar-nominated, one-man show performance in All is Lost from 2013. In 2014, he made the acclaimed thriller A Most Violent Year starring Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac - the latter of which he would re-team with for Triple Frontier five years later, along with Ben Affleck and Pedro Pascal to name a few. It seems likely that the Netflix original action thriller would've been what got the producers of Kraven the Hunter interested in hiring the filmmaker. 

Spider-Man in Avengers: Infinity War

(Image credit: Disney)

Spider-Man Movies Vets Avi Arad And Matt Tolmach Produce Kraven The Hunter 

Sharing producing credit for the Kraven the Hunter movie is Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. Both of them also have experience with the webslinger that goes back pretty far. 

Not only was Arad an executive producer on Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, but also a few episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series in the 1990s. Also two of Tolmach’s first big gigs were both of the Amazing Spider-Man movies. Both gentlemen are also producing the 2022 release of Morbius, which stars Jared Leto as the titular vampiric anti-hero whose first appearance in the Marvel Universe was in a Spider-Man comic. 

The 2016 Magnificent Seven cast

(Image credit: Sony)

Matt Holloway, Art Marcum, And Richard Wenk Share Credit For The Kraven The Hunter Script

At the time when Antoine Fuqua was still being considered to direct Kraven the Hunter, a script for the Marvel movie was already in the works by Richard Wenk, who had previously worked with the filmmaker as the screenwriter for 2014’s The Equalizer, its 2018 sequel, and Fuqua’s 2016 remake of The Magnificent Seven as well. Wenk has also penned other action movies like The Expendables 2, Jack Reacher: Never Back Down, and the more recent Maggie Q-led thriller, The Protégé.

In 2020, after J.C. Chandor was officially chosen to direct Kraven the Hunter, a new pair of scribes were brought in for a new draft to the script named Matt Holloway and Art Marcum. The duo, who first saw their work become a reality with 2004’s Shadow of Fear, have contributed to screenplays for blockbusters like Iron Man in 2008 or 2017’s Transformers: The Last Knight and they have sole screenwriting credit for Men in Black: International from 2019. Holloway and Marcum also helped write the film adaptation of the popular video game Uncharted (starring Mark Wahlberg and Spider-Man actor Tom Holland) and Sony’s upcoming Masters of the Universe reboot. 

Spider-Man (Tom Holland) hides behind a car in Spider-Man: Far From Home

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Richard Wenk Has Said Kraven The Hunter Will Come Face-To-Face With Spider-Man 

With all due respect to Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, I hope that they did not change too much from Richard Wenk’s original draft of the Kraven the Hunter script. Reason being: when he was still attached to the project as the sole screenwriter, in 2018, he revealed to Discussing Film that the movie would see him “come face-to-face with Spider-Man.” He went on to say that he was looking at the famous comic book arc “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” in which the villain dons the Web-Slinger’s outfit in attempt to be a better vigilante, as inspiration.

Personally, that particular aspect is the one thing that I would actually hope Matt Holloway and Art Marcum would scrap, as that is a story that requires a lot more build-up in Spider-Man’s rivalry with Kraven. Not to mention, (SPOILER ALERT) the arc concludes with the villain’s self-inflected death. On the bright side, if Tom Holland’s Peter Parker does appear in the Kraven the Hunter movie, it will bring us even closer to seeing the MCU continuity and Sony continuity in the Marvel Multiverse become one, which has already been teased quite a bit lately.

If it does happen, what will Kraven’s first live-action face-off with Spider-Man be like? How will Aaron Taylor-Johnson handle playing a  villain this time? What could J.C. Chandor bring to the material that we have not seen in a comic book movie before? All will be revealed when Kraven the Hunter hits theaters in 2023.

Jason Wiese
Jason Wiese

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.