Ahead of the theatrical release of Jared Leto's Morbius, and on the heels of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sony has announced its next live-action film for its ever-expanding Spider-Verse: Kraven the Hunter. This Spidey villain is one that fans have wanted to see for some time; and for the title role, Sony went with a comic book film veteran in Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
In addition to his role in Kick-Ass, Aaron Taylor-Johnson's last Marvel role was as Wanda Maximoff's brother, Pietro/Quicksilver, in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Age of Ultron. Interestingly enough, Pietro served as a threat to the Avengers for a considerable part of that film. Will his new character of Kraven follow suit in the upcoming film, particularly in terms of Tom Holland's web-slinger?
For now, that remains to be seen. However, Taylor-Johnson did open up about being cast as the comic book baddie to none other than cinema's second-ever, live-action web-slinger, Andrew Garfield.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson Talks Kraven the Hunter with Andrew Garfield
In talking with Andrew Garfield via Hero Magazine about returning to comic book cinema, Aaron Taylor-Johnson revealed that he's keeping close to the production office for Kraven the Hunter since he's "got a bunch of stunt training to do for this movie:"
"I’m good! I’m in England, I’m not in London but just outside, close to the production office [for Kraven the Hunter]. I’m staying here because I’ve got a bunch of stunt training to do for this movie, so the director and I are bunking up for the next couple of weeks."
When Garfield asked how he's feeling about stepping into a character that so many fans have opinions about, Taylor-Johnson didn't reveal much but did acknowledge that "It comes with its challenges. As you know!"
Garfield definitely knows. Back in 2012, the actor had the task of following Tobey Maguire and creating his own take on Peter Parker. While the reception was lukewarm then, fans are now campaigning for the revival of his trilogy, and more appearances from him, following his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
After Garfield praised Taylor-Johnson for his appearance and Kraven-inspired comic book look. the actor discussed how the physical aspects of Kraven are contributing to his portrayal, saying, "You see that and then you start to backtrack and dig deeper, and go, 'This is where he originates from...:'"
"You do come at it from another angle, which is back-to-front for me. It’s like you’re coming at it from the physical aspect, because that’s what you can see from a comic book. You go, 'Oh, he looks like that, so I have to look like that.' You see that and then you start to backtrack and dig deeper, and go, 'This is where he originates from, then he has this relationship and that relationship…' You just hope that you’re going to portray something that you can bring to life. There is, again, room for an interpretation and you want to be able to bring something and let it pop off the page. It’s another new challenge, we talk about putting yourself under pressure all the time. I don’t step away from controversial shit, I don’t know what it is, but I’m always drawn to the thing that might actually give me a f****** stroke!"
While assuming a role audiences are familiar with comes with pressure and can be controversial, it's worth noting that Kraven is particularly controversial as, in the comics, he's a big-game hunter.
While Kraven's physical appearance is one thing, how Sony decides to handle his costume may be the biggest source of controversy, considering Kraven often wears the furs and skins of the animals he hunted.
Will Kraven Be Hunting For Spiders in Sony's Next Film?
In the comics, Kraven is determined to capture the ultimate prize: Spider-Man.
The fact that Aaron Taylor-Johnson was being interviewed by a Spider-Man actor is incredibly interesting and sure to raise a few eyebrows, especially since Spider-Man references have already appeared in Morbius. Many fans are also hoping that Garfield will play the web-slinger in Sony's Spider-Man universe.
Another character from the comics who's tied to Kraven is Calypso, a witch doctor whose potion gave Kraven enhanced speed and animal-like senses. Sony appears to be keeping with that tale, considering West Side Story's Ariana Debose is confirmed to be playing Calypso.
Joining Debose and Aaron Taylor-Johnson is Russell Crowe in an undisclosed role, as well as Fred Hechinger as Kraven's half-brother and fellow Spider-Man villain, Chameleon.
Kraven the Hunter is set to release on January 13, 2023.