Hard-working English actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson is poised become even further entrenched in superhero movie culture with his third comic book movie role, joining the likes of superstars Ryan Reynolds — Weapon XI, Green Lantern and Deadpool — and Josh Brolin — Jonah Hex, Cable and Thanos — Taylor-Johnson. After first playing the titular hero in Kick-Ass, Taylor-Johnson went on to play Quicksilver in Avengers: Infinity War, and now he’s going to join Sony’s Marvel movieverse as classic Spider-Man villain Sergei Kravinoff, aka Kraven the Hunter.
Taylor-Johnson will headline his own standalone film that will possibly connect down the road with the Venom and Morbius movies to form an anti-Avengers supervillain team-up movie, possibly the long-rumored Sinister Six. Unlike most of Spider-Man’s villains, when Kraven debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 in 1964, he had no superpowers or special technology to speak of, only a strong body, intensely competitive personality, and preternatural tracking skills. Later issues found him bestowed with enhanced abilities and an extra long life thanks to Voodoo, which made him an even deadlier threat than he already was. Art Marcum & Matt Holloway and Richard Wenk wrote the screenplay for Kraven the Hunter.
Even though it’s the generally-accepted “title” of Sony’s Marvel movieverse — and I used it in the title of this very article — you might not want to call it the “Spider-verse” or “Spidey-verse” if you ever have a chance to chat with Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group President Sanford Panitch. Apparently, he’s a little… testy about it:
We don’t really think of our 900 characters as the Spidey-verse. We have a Marvel universe. The volume of characters we have — you know, wait until you see this next ‘Venom.’ You don’t miss Spider-Man.
Panitch didn’t entirely close the door on Spider-Man, however. He admitted that Tom Holland crossing over into Sony’s Spider-v–, er, movies-featuring-characters-from-Spidey-comics-without-actually-featuring-Spidey would be “exciting” if it were to happen.
And speaking of Tom Holland, who will next don the red-and-blue spandex in Spider-Man: No Way Home, rumor has it a villain from Spider-Man movies past will return to torment the Wall-Crawler, possibly even played by the actor who first brought the character to life. According to ComingSoon, the reason Willem DaFoe was spotted on the set of No Way Home back in February is because he is the movie’s main villain, reprising the role of Norman Osborne, aka the Green Goblin, that he first played in 2002’s Spider-Man.
Kraven the Hunter is slated for release on January 13, 2023.
Images courtesy of Sony Pictures, Marvel Comics and WikiCommons; Edits by Movie Nooz