Way back in 1998, Sony acquired the rights to make movies about Spider-Man and all of his related characters. But with Spidey currently tied in with Marvel Studio’s MCU, Sony Pictures is trying to turn Spider-Man’s villains into movie stars. It worked for Venom, but not for Morbius. This fall, we’ll see if Kraven the Hunter has a better shot at success. Ex-MCU actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson is stepping into the title role as Sergei Kravinoff. And as you can see in the newly released trailer, Sony is taking several “creative liberties” with Kraven’s origin and powers.
Not since the days of Jonah Hex’s completely unnecessary supernatural abilities have we seen such a baffling change from the source material. Suffice it to say, comic book Kraven was not bitten by a radioactive lion, or whatever is supposed to be happening here. Yet a drop of lion’s blood turns movie Kraven into a full-blown metahuman, and the next thing you know, he’s biting off a guy’s nose.
The inherent problem of a Kraven movie is that he’s supposed to be the bad guy. Even the film’s tagline, “villains aren’t born, they’re made,” plays into this. Perhaps Kraven will reach peak villainy at the end of the story and join Sony’s Sinister Six with Vulture and Morbius. But for now, the role of the villain appears to fall on Kraven’s father, as played by Russell Crowe. There’s also a cameo in the trailer by another Spider-Man villain: Rhino (Alessandro Nivola).
Ariana DeBose’s Calypso is introduced in the trailer as Kraven’s potential lover, while Kraven’s half-brother, Dmitri Smerdyakov (Fred Hechinger), appears to be at odds with both his sibling and his father. In the comics, Dmitri is the master of disguise known as the Chameleon, while Calypso is a Voodoo priestess.
J. C. Chandor directed the film from a script by Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Richard Wenk. Kraven the Hunter will hit theaters on Friday, October 6.
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