Although Morbius didn't live up to expectations, Sony's Marvel universe is still set to expand with the addition of new projects, such as Kraven the Hunter. The upcoming Spider-Man spin-off is headlined by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Avengers: Age of Ultron), and it is set to tackle the origin story of the titular Marvel villain.
Taylor-Johnson is joined by a stellar cast that includes Russell Crowe, Christopher Abbott, and Ariana DeBose, along with Alessandro Nivola as its main villain. The exact plot details of the movie are still being kept under wraps, but the lead actor teased that part of this movie would be about "humanizing" Kraven and showing that "he has flaws" as he learns about himself.
Now, ahead of its premiere in 2023, the film's villain actor has revealed many notable details about his character and its story.
Kraven Actor Reveals Major Details about Spider-Man Spin-off
Alessandro Nivola, who is reported to play the main villain of Sony Pictures' Kraven the Hunter, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about the upcoming Spider-Man spin-off.
When the outlet pointed out his history with Kraven director J.C. Chandor, Nivola reflected on his past working relationship with him on A Most Violent Year:
“Yeah, it was all from having worked with him before on A Most Violent Year, and it’s funny because up until this year, no director had ever hired me twice. And then in one year, David O. Russell put me in a second movie [Amsterdam], as did J.C., so maybe this ship is turning around. (Laughs.) But the most enticing part about Kraven was that J.C. was gonna direct it; we had such a great time on A Most Violent Year. I also knew Chris Abbott from A Most Violent Year, and so it was kind of a reunion in that way.”
The Many Saints of Newark actor also opened up about Chandor's approach in filming scenes for the movie:
"These movies all have a certain formula to them, but J.C. said that he wanted to shoot all on location. The physical ability of the characters in the movie is also more grounded in reality. People aren’t flying around or anything. J.C. described it as the most incredible Olympic athlete you’ve ever seen. Moreover, the role, which I’m not yet allowed to disclose, was just a real acting opportunity for me. You’ll see."
Nivola also spoiled a key Kraven plot point, revealing that he transformed "physically" during the final moments of the movie:
"It’s just a great character part, and I didn’t have to do any CGI. I didn’t have to do any green screen. I only transform, physically, in the final moments of the movie, so it’s just a classic villain role."
Nivola continued by sharing more details about his mysterious role, claiming that "it was as much of an acting opportunity as any other film" that he's done.
The Marvel actor also teased that the Spider-Man spin-off has a "time jump," indicating that his character "changes a lot" because of that:
"It had a really interesting, complex psychology and personal history to draw on, and the movie has a time jump in it, so the character changes a lot from the way he is at the beginning of the film. It was as much of an acting opportunity as any other film I’ve done, and I didn’t have to contend with wearing a spandex outfit or anything like that. "
On a side note, THR also referenced a past interview with Moon Knight villain actor Ethan Hawke, who is also Nivola's neighbor, where he told them a story of how he bumped into Oscar Isaac at a Brooklyn coffee shop and left with a Marvel role.
The interviewer then asked Nivola if he also received his Marvel role by bumping into someone at the same Brooklyn coffee shop to which the actor only responded with laughter.
Who is Alessandro Nivola's Kraven Character?
At this stage, it is still unknown who Alessandro Nivola is playing in Kraven the Hunter aside from his recent comments confirming that he is the movie's main villain.
Despite that, the actor's reveal that his character will "physically" transform during the final moments of Kraven could hint that Nivola is portraying a normal guy at first, thus narrowing down potential prospects for this character.
Many have theorized that Nivola is playing Gregory Herd, a brilliant engineer with expertise in advanced cybernetics. In Marvel Comics, Herd is a member of the Gathering of the Five ritual and was granted the gift of "Death."
It's possible that the iconic ritual will be featured in Kraven, and it could transform Herd into something horrific that would pit him against Aaron Taylor-Johnson's titular villain/anti-hero.
Nivola's comment about the film having a "time jump" could also hint that he has a history with Kraven, potentially teasing a years-long conflict between the two families. Whatever the case, Nivola appears to be a formidable villain that would test Kraven's limits.
Kraven the Hunter is set to premiere in theaters on January 13, 2023.