Kraven is a villain fans have wanted to see on-screen for a long while.
At one point and time, back when Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures weren't agreeing with one another, Tom Holland's third solo outing could have featured the highly requested villain. But, obviously, that never happened.
Instead, Aaron Taylor Johnson was brought aboard to bring the villain to life in his own solo movie—one which will be darker than even its own stars thought.
Kraven's Dark Hunt
While speaking with Comic Book Resources, Kraven the Hunter star Russell Crowe spoke about the tone of the movie.
Crowe noted that while speaking with the film's director, J.C. Chandor, the filmmaker told him that the movie focuses on "an unexpectedly, dark world:"
“I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen it, but I know that we’re going through another round of shooting soon. I’ve got a scene to do in a couple of weeks. I’ve talked to J.C. Chandor, the director. He’s really excited about what he’s got in front of him and really excited about the way people will receive it. I think I can sort of pass on that one of the things he said that it’s just an unexpectedly dark world.”
In a recent interview, Crowe's Kraven co-star, Alessandro Nivola, spoke about how the movie has a "complex psychology" to draw off of for his performance:
“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. ”
Speaking to Comicbook.com last summer, Aaron Taylor-Johnson clarified some previous comments, stating how the main character is "a conservationist" and "a protector of the natural world:"
“I can’t confirm any details or anything. And also, I guess that was probably a little taken out of context and then run. I mean, I think you know what I meant what really stated was that he was a protector of the natural world I said and he’s a conservationist, which is probably more accurate, and then should have stopped there, full stop, shouldn’t have gone on beyond that.."
The actor went on to promise fans that the film would offer them the Kraven audiences so want to see:
"... You really got to understand, yeah, he is a hunter and from that world of hunting and there’s so many aspects. What I love about that character is that what is he humanizing is that he has flaws, right? Kraven is a beautiful character. Sergei Kravinov is a beautiful character because it’s someone who’s really understanding themselves and has flaws. This is a character that was built ages ago and it’s in a new time and era, but yeah, is he going to be the hunter that we all want to see? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.”
Dark Just as Kraven Should Be
When it comes to a solo project focusing on Kraven the Hunter, a darker tone is absolutely the right direction to go in. He's not a happy-go-lucky guy, and neither are any of the stories he features in.
In theory, without having to juggle Spider-Man himself, Sony has even more room to explore the darker corners of Kraven's life.
Hopefully, Aaron-Taylor Johnson's film won't prevent Marvel Studios from using the character in the MCU if they want to. Though, they'd likely have their own casting, so it would be a tricky situation.
The character could provide the perfect foil to Holland's Peter Parker, especially where the character is on a personal level.
Taylor-Johnson previously teased all the "possibilities" when it comes to his big villain going up against the webhead, so the actor himself is very aware of audiences' desire to see the duo faceoff.
The odds of such a crossover happening likely depend on how successful the project is—especially when Sony's recent live-action projects have been iffy at best.
Kraven the Hunter is set to hit theaters on October 6.