Aaron Taylor-Johnson is getting a chance to double-dip in Marvel’s garlic sauce. The Avengers: Age of Ultron star has signed on to play Kraven the Hunter in a film for Sony’s Spider-Man adjacent IP. According to Variety, Triple Frontier director J.C. Chandor will direct the film, from a script by Richard Wenk, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway. Taylor-Johnson got nope’d out of the MCU pretty early, so it’s nice that he’s being given a second chance — just like Chris Evans did with Johnny Storm and Captain America. And, of course, Quicksilver kind of came back in WandaVision. It’s only fair Taylor-Johnson get his turn.
Kraven the Hunter is a hoot and a half. The character was created in 1964, a Russian “Great White Hunter” type who likes to kill animals with his bare hands. Remember that study that went viral last week about which animals you could take in a fight? Kraven is the personification of it, but in skintight, head-to-toe animal print. Kraven the Hunter was an OG member of the Sinister Six, a group of villains who team up to try and defeat their shared foe Spider-Man. (Shock of all shocks, they can’t.) As a legacy member of that group, Kraven made a brief cameo in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Specifically, he appears to have a cat head popping out of his chest during “A Freak Like Me Needs Company.”
The lyrics of that song seem to suggest that rather than kill animals with his bare hands, he has sex with them? Anyway, Kraven the Hunter is slated for a January 13, 2023 release.
Update March 9, 2022: Christopher Abbott (of Girls/George Clooney’s adaptation of Catch-22 for Hulu fame) is set to play the antagonist to Kraven’s bad boy animal lover. Since Spider-Man is a no-go for the Venom-verse, Sony had to dig deep for a fellow baddie to face off against Kraven. Abbott will play The Foreigner, which sounds like an 80’s wrestler who lacks imagination. But he’s actually a mercenary with no super powers other than being super good at fighting. Per Deadline, Abbott’s Foreigner will be joining Alessandro Nivola as yet another antagonist in this veritable smorgasbord of villain-on-villain violence.