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The Kraven The Hunter Movie Has Cast Another Classic Spider-Man Villain

Spider-Man villan Chameleon sitting in front of wall of masks
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Following Peter Parker’s debut in the pages of Amazing Fantasy #15, 1963’s The Amazing Spider-Man #1 saw the Webbed Wonder facing his first supervillain. Dmitri Smerdyakov, a.k.a. The Chameleon, one of Marvel Comics’ greatest masters of disguise. Chameleon is one of the Spider-Man villains who hasn’t been adapted for film yet, but that will change soon, as he’s been cast for the Kraven the Hunter movie.

According to Deadline, White Lotus star Fred Hechinger will play Chameleon in Kraven the Hunter. Like in the comics, Dmitri Smerdyakov will be the half-brother of Sergei Kravinoff, who’s being played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Godzilla and Avengers: Age of Ultron fame. Hechinger also starred in Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy and can currently be seen playing Seth Warshavsky in Hulu’s Pam & Tommy.

Fred Hechinger in HBO's White Lotus

(Image credit: HBO)

Rather than being a natural shapeshifter like X-Men adversary Mystique or the Skrulls, Chameleon impersonates people using makeup, elaborate costumes, lifelike masks and other tools in conjunction with his impressive acting and voice mimicry skills. It’s unclear if Fred Hechinger’s version of Dmitri Smerdyakov will also be a master of disguise in the Kraven the Hunter movie or if the only thing he’ll share in common with his comic book counterpart is being Kraven’s half-brother. If it’s the latter, no doubt there will be a lot of Spider-Man fans displeased that they’re not getting a proper Chameleon donning all kinds of disguises within a cinematic setting.

Fred Hechinger is the third actor to be added to Kraven the Hunter's cast, following the reveal earlier this month that Russell Crowe has been cast in an undisclosed role. No official plot details for Kraven the Hunter have been revealed yet, but like the Kraven who’s been antagonizing Spider-Man in the comics for decades, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Kraven is expected to be one of the world’s best combatants and trackers. Who knows, maybe this movie could see Kraven and Chameleon clashing, as the former’s disguising skills posing a challenge the latter has never had to deal with from past prey.

Behind the scenes, Triple Frontier’s J.C. Chandor is directing Kraven the Hunter, and Iron Man duo Art Marcum & Matt Holloway took first crack at the script, with The Equalizer’s Richard Went later adding his own material. This will be the fourth movie in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, following Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and the forthcoming Morbius. It was also recently reported that Fifty Shades star Dakota Johnson is being lined up to lead a Madame Web movie.

Kraven the Hunter has been slotted for January 13, 2023, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more casting news and updates on its progress. As for what’s hitting theaters later this year, our guide of 2022 movie releases contains that information.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.