Spider-Man‘s adversary Kraven the Hunter is getting his own movie thanks to Marvel and Sony Pictures. The upcoming superhero movie, Kraven the Hunter, is based on the Marvel Comics character who is one of Spider-Man’s most notorious villains. The film has already wrapped filming and fans are so excited to see Kraven played on the big screen by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 32.
Kraven the Hunter is set in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe which is home to Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and Morbius. The film does NOT take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about Kraven the Hunter, including the cast, the expected release date, and much more.
Kraven The Hunter
In the comics, Kraven is first introduced in a 1964 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. His real name is Sergei Kravinoff. He’s a big-game hunter with enhanced strength, speed, and agility. He is skillful at tracking and at hand-to-hand combat. Kraven is one of Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery (all his villains) and he’s one of the founders of the Sinister Six, with Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Sandman, Electro, and Mysterio.
Sony/Marvel has not revealed the official plot for Kraven the Hunter. Aaron-Taylor Johnson spoke about the film at the CineEurope conference in June 2022. He referred to Kraven as “one of Marvel’s most iconic, notorious anti-heroes — Spider Man’s number one rival,” according to Variety. Aaron went on to say, “He’s just a hunter, a human with conviction. An animal lover and a protector of the natural world. He’s a very, very cool character.”
In July, Aaron clarified more about his superhero character in an interview with ComicBook.com. “What I love about that character is that what is he humanizing is that he has flaws, right? Kraven is a beautiful character. Sergei Kravinov is a beautiful character because it’s someone who’s really understanding themselves and has flaws. This is a character that was built ages ago and it’s in a new time and era, but yeah, is he going to be the hunter that we all want to see? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely,” the actor said.
Where and When To Watch
Kraven the Hunter will be released in theaters on October 6, 2023. The film will be distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film was previously scheduled for release on January 13, 2023, but Sony pushed back the release date by nine months in Sept. 2022. Madame Web, which will star Dakota Johnson in the titular role with Sydney Sweeney, Emma Roberts, and Adam Scott, was also pushed back from October 6, 2023 to February 16, 2024.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson was cast in the lead role in Kraven the Hunter in May 2021. He starred in the MCU as Wanda Maximoff’s brother Pietro Maximoff who was killed in Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Sony reportedly picked Aaron for the role after seeing his performance in their movie Bullet Train with Brad Pitt and Joey King. Of Spider-Man’s other villains from the Sony films, Tom Hardy played Venom, Woody Harrelson played Carnage, and Jared Leto played Morbius.
Ariana DeBose, who won an Oscar for West Side Story, is playing Kraven’s love interest, Calypso. Ariana, 31, was officially cast as Calypo, a voodoo priestess, in March 2022. Ariana played coy about the role during an interview with The Playlist. “Well, to be frank with you, I can’t say much about it. But I am really excited to be joining the Sony Marvel family. When J.C. Chandor [the director] came to me and pitched this idea for the film. And he just, he’s a filmmaker who has wanted to be a director for his whole life. And quite frankly, he’s a damn good one. And I think he’ll bring something really creative and new and fresh and also really gritty to this film and to Kraven the Hunter’s story. And I’m really excited to dig in,” she said.
The White Lotus season 1 star Fred Hechinger, 22, is playing Kraven’s half-brother Dmitri Smerdyakov/Chameleon, who can impersonate anybody. Christopher Abbott and Alessandro Nivola were cast as villains in the film. Alessandro shared some details about his character in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I only transform, physically, in the final moments of the movie, so it’s just a classic villain role. It had a really interesting, complex psychology and personal history to draw on,” he explained. “[The] character changes a lot from the way he is in the beginning of the film.”
Levi Miller and Russell Crowe have also been cast in undisclosed roles in the film, according to THR. It’s rumored that Russell will play Kraven and Chameleon’s father, Nikolaï Kravinoff. Russell just appeared in the MCU film Thor: Love & Thunder as Zeus.
Who is the Creative Team?
J.C. Chandor is the director of Kraven the Hunter. He previously directed Triple Frontier, the 2019 Netflix action move with Ben Affleck and Charlie Hunnam. Art Marcum & Matt Holloway and Richard Wenk wrote the screenplay for Kraven the Hunter. The creative team also includes producers Avi Brad, Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal and cinematographer Ben Davis. The production companies behind the film are Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Arad Production, Matt Tolmach Productions, and Pascal Pictures. Sony Pictures Releasing is the distributor.
Filming on Kraven the Hunter began in Iceland in February 2022. Production moved to London and then Gaslgow, Scotland before officially wrapping in June. Aaron revealed at the CineEurope conference that unlike other Marvel movies, Kraven the Hunter was “shot entirely on location.”