Kraven the Hunter is the visceral story about how and why one of Marvel’s most iconic villains came to be. Set before his notorious vendetta with Spider-Man, Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as the titular character in the R-rated film.
Directed by J.C. Chandor, and with a screenplay by Art Marcum & Matt Holloway and Richard Wenk, Kraven the Hunter is based on the Marvel Comics character, and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Sergei Kravinoff / Kraven the Hunter, Ariana DeBose as Calypso, Fred Hechinger as The Chameleon / Dmitri Smerdyakov, Alessandro Nivola, Christopher Abbott and Russell Crowe.
Kraven the Hunter appears to contain the setups for a number of Spider-Man universe villains, including several of the Sinister 6. In addition to Kraven, we have at very least The Rhino, and The Chameleon. There may be more that have not yet been revealed.
The trailer sets up Kraven the Hunter as a protector of the animal world, and this is a radical departure from the characer’s origins in Marvel Comics. It seems to us as though Sony Pictures isn’t really sure what to do with Kraven as a property, and they’re hoping for a win with one of the Marvel characters to whom they still hold the rights. Venom and its sequel did well, but Morbius tanked, and badly. As a character, to us, Kraven seems less interesting than Morbius did. His motivations are more murky and mostly external rather than internal, and that makes him a boring character to start with. Sony appears to be trying to fix this by giving him a more robust inner life, but all we can do is wait for more trailers to get a sense of whether or not this effort is successful.
Interestingly, we have the a return to the silver screen for another Marvel Comics baddie in this trailer: the Rhino. We’re going to guess that he’s the heavy in the film, already balancing on a knife’s edge with its protagonist being at best an antihero. The trailer shows us a good close look at the Rhino’s forearm as he mutates into his more monstrous form (in the comics, he gets his Rhino form as part of an experimental procedure that gives him an artificial skin covering and superhuman strength, but he doesn’t morph). The Rhino made his first live action appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, played by Paul Giamatti, but this time actor Alessandro Nivola will be doing the honors.
We also note that both Russell Crowe and Levi Miller are listed in the credits for this film, but the roles they play aren’t listed on our favorite go-to source for production information, IMDB.
Kraven the Hunter releases to an unsuspecting world this October.
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