The Kraven The Hunter Movie Just Cast A West Side Story Star In A Key Role

Ariana DeBose dancing as Anita in West Side Story
(Image credit: Disney/ 20th Century Studios)

Sony has been working hard in the past few years to take full advantage of owning the movie rights to Spider-Man and all the characters associated with him from Marvel Comics. Following two Venom movies and the upcoming Morbius, the latest project getting deeper and deeper into development is the upcoming Kraven The Hunter movie. The production has already hired Aaron Taylor-Johnson to play the titular lead, Russell Crowe is on board in a supporting role, and last week we learned that Fred Hechinger has signed on to play the Chameleon.

Today, the film has brought aboard its first female performer, as news has broken that West Side Story star Ariana DeBose has joined Kraven The Hunter in what could be an exciting role. 

This update comes to us from Deadline, which has sources reporting that the Oscar-nominated actor is being lined up for the role of Calypso, another Spider-Man supervillain. We don't really know what the movie is about, but relationship history from the comics suggest that she may have a romance with Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Kraven in the movie.

Up for Best Supporting Actress at this year's Academy Awards, Ariana DeBose stunned the movie world last year with her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story – and anyone who has been tracking developments in the industry for the last decade probably saw this coming. It was only a matter of time before the charismatic up-and-coming star signed on to be a part of a comic book movie franchise, and DeBose opted to go with Sony's Spider-Man Universe.

Calypso was created by Denny O'Neil and Alan Weiss, and introduced to the pages of Marvel Comics in late 1980. She is portrayed as a voodoo priestess, and she has a powerful mental hold over Kraven. In her first appearance, she specifically pushes him to return to the practice of hunting Spider-Man – though how much of that we might see is unknown because we presently don't know if the web-slinger is going to be in the film. 

J.C. Chandor, best known for the films All Is Lost and A Most Violent Year, is directing the movie as his first entry into the world of comic book blockbusters, and the script is in the works from Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man) and Richard Wenk (The Equalizer). With a release date set for January 13, 2023, production is going to start soon, so stay tuned in the coming days as the project continues to fill out its cast and a better picture of the plot is revealed via character details.

In the meantime, if you're constantly hungry for more Spider-Man related movies, Morbius is now only a month away. Starring Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson and more, the feature will be playing in theaters nationwide on April 1. You can read all about the Living Vampire with our Everything You Need To Know guide.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.