‘Kraven the Hunter’ marks the fourth film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.
Sergei Kravinoff a.k.a. Kraven, a classic Spider-Man villain, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and a founding member of the Sinister Six, was teased in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). In Marvel Comics, Kraven is depicted as a Russian nobleman whose family was compelled to immigrate to America in 1917 due to the February Revolution. Kraven became an obsessive big game hunter and, after mastering the sport, made Spider-Man his target in an effort to establish himself as the world's best hunter. In 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb indicated an interest in seeing the character in a movie.
After several years of considering a Kraven movie, Sony became interested in a standalone film for the character in 2017. Richard Wenk was then hired to write a screenplay for Kraven the Hunter in August 2018 and Sony confirmed that the film was in development in March 2019. Surprisingly, before learning that Sony owned the cinematic rights to Kraven, filmmaker Ryan Coogler had wanted to feature the character in his MCU film Black Panther. The upcoming movie will thus give Kraven a well-deserved introduction to Sony's shared superhero universe.
Kraven the Hunter was previously scheduled to release on January 13, 2023. However, Sony shifted the release of the movie to October 6, 2023, the same weekend Sony used in the past for the Venom movies.
The film will eventually be available to stream on Netflix after its theatrical window as well as after it hits video-on-demand and home video. This is thanks to a deal that was struck between Netflix and Sony back in April 2021 which gives the streaming service the exclusive pay-one window for new films from Sony.
At CinemaCon in April 2022, Sony unveiled the first clip from Kraven the Hunter in a showreel showcasing the studio's upcoming movies. The sizzle reel, which only lasted a few seconds, included Aaron Taylor-Johnson holding onto a car.
Following the anticipation for the film, many fan-made concept trailers were launched. However, Sony is yet to release an official trailer for Kraven the Hunter. But it is not too far that we get to catch glimpses of the film, given that the film is already in the post-production stage.
For the character of Kraven, Sony approached celebrities including Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, John David Washington, and Adam Driver. However, the producers swiftly decided to cast Aaron Taylor-Johnson after being blown away by the first trailer for the movie Bullet Train. Taylor-Johnson agreed to play Kraven in a number of movies that would come after Kraven the Hunter. He is most known for playing the title character in Kick-Ass and its sequel as well as Pietro Maximoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Jodie Turner-Smith was initially rumored to be playing the role of Calypso, but in March 2022 it was announced that Academy Award-winning actress Ariana DeBose would instead be taking on the role. She is Kraven's love interest and a voodoo priestess who uses magic potions. In Marvel Comics, Calypso is typically portrayed as Spider-Man's adversary. Fans can anticipate that the filmmakers will explore the couple's romantic relationship in the movie. DeBose received tremendous acclaim for her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story. Additionally, she played Alyssa Greene in Ryan Murphy's musical movie The Prom and Emma Tate in the Apple TV+ musical comedy series Schmigadoon!.
Alessandro Nivola and Christopher Abbott were cast as the film's villains, with Abbott being the main villain reported to be the Foreigner. With a vast list of acting achievements, Nivola is most known for his role as Nicolas Cage's brother Pollux Troy in John Woo's 1997 film Face/Off. He starred alongside Christian Bale and Margot Robbie in David O. Russell's Amsterdam in 2022, as well in the comedy Spin Me Round alongside Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza. His other well-known films are One Percent More Humid and The Red Sea Diving Resort.
The primary antagonist in Kraven the Hunter will be played by Christopher Abbott, who is also known for playing Mason Tannetti in The Sinner and Charlie Dattolo in the HBO comedy-drama series Girls. His other well-known movies are On the Count of Three, The Sleepwalker, and Hello I Must Be Going. Alongside Tom Holland and Amanda Seyfried, Abbott will also be making his television comeback in the Apple TV+ anthology series The Crowded Room.
Fred Hechinger joined the cast of Kraven the Hunter in February 2022 as Dmitri Smerdyakov a.k.a. Chameleon, who is Kraven's half-brother. The supervillain Chameleon is the first ever adversary of Spider-Man in Marvel Comics. He is a master of disguises, known for his ability to impersonate virtually anybody. He is best known for playing Trevor in Eighth Grade, John Calley in News of the World, and Ethan Russell in The Woman in the Window (2021). Additionally, he appeared in the first season of the renowned HBO anthology series The White Lotus as well as the Netflix horror The Fear Street Trilogy. Academy Award nominee Kodi Smit-McPhee who is most known for playing the role of Peter in The Power of the Dog and Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix was initially approached for the role, but ultimately turned the role down.
Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe and up-and-coming star Levi Miller have also been cast in undisclosed roles.
As Sergei Kravinoff embarks on a quest to establish himself as the best hunter in the world, Kraven the Hunter will follow his life narrative. Fans can anticipate seeing a new antagonist for Kraven to hunt as Spider-Man, known as Kraven's "white whale" in Marvel Comic books, is unlikely to appear due to the MCU pact. There were continuing negotiations regarding whether to adopt the Kraven's Last Hunt comic book storyline in this movie. Sony and Marvel have not revealed the official plot for Kraven the Hunter, but the film will portray Kraven as an iconic, notorious anti-hero.
Early in February 2022, under the working title Safari, Kraven the Hunter was filmed in Iceland at Lake Mývatn. 80 people from the production company TrueNorth Productions worked on the two days of filming. Later, with the working title Spiral, principal photography commenced on March 20, 2022, in London, England, and was finished by mid-June.
Richard Wenk, who wrote the screenplays for both Equalizer films (and wrote the upcoming third installment), as well as The Expendables 2 and The Magnificent Seven, wrote the screenplay for Kraven the Hunter. He is accompanied by the screenwriting duo Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, who previously wrote the scripts for movies like Iron Man, Punisher: War Zone, and last year's Uncharted. A year after Wenk was brought on board as the screenwriter, J.C. Chandor was hired to direct. Chandor is most known for directing the Netflix blockbuster Triple Frontier, as well as the survival film All is Lost, and the crime drama A Most Violent Year. Matt Tolmach, Amy Pascal, and Avi Arad are set as producers. Ben Davis served as cinematographer for Kraven the Hunter having previously worked on superhero films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Kopal (or Koko, as she loves being called) is currently a literature student. She writes movies and TV resource pieces for Collider. She is free-spirited, loves animals, and greets every dog she sees on the street.