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Sony stalks Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kraven the Hunter, sets release date for standalone film

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May 26, 2021, 7:10 PM EDT

The hunt is over. Sony Pictures has landed the lead for its standalone Kraven the Hunter film, while also setting a release date for the film set in its universe of Marvel characters.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Kick-Ass and Avengers: Age of Ultron fame will star as the eponymous Sergei Kravinoff. The live-action film based on the Spider-Man villain is currently set for a Jan. 13, 2023 release.

J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year, Triple Frontier) is attached to direct a script written by Equalizer scribe Richard Wenk, along with Iron Man and Morbius screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing.

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Sergei Kravinoff first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 in 1964. The character, a big game hunter who took an herbal potion that enhanced his strength and speed, was part of Spider-Man's rogues' gallery and half-brother to the Chameleon. He also was part of the original “Sinister Six.” 

Source: Comixology

In J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck's 1987 storyline "Kraven's Last Hunt," the villain “killed” Spider-Man (well, not really; he put him in a drug-induced coma for two weeks, buried him alive, then posed as the web-slinger to destroy his reputation) before killing himself. Wenk has admitted that this six-issue story arc served as a key source of inspiration for him.

Kraven the Hunter is part of Sony’s budding universe of Spider-Man villains that includes Venom and Morbius. Since it’s unlikely the film will feature Spider-Man, it does beg the question of who Kraven will be hunting in his live-action feature debut.