Ryan Coogler reveals villain he wasn't allowed to use in Black Panther

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Feb 10, 2018, 6:23 PM EST (Updated)

When Ryan Coogler first started working on Black Panther as the film's director and co-writer, he was eager to see which characters he could use in the film.

In an interview with Yahoo!, Coogler said that a scene in writer Christopher Priest's run on the Black Panther comic books was something he was initially keen to recreate in the movie:

"Being a Marvel fan, you want to grab all the characters. You realize there’s contractual things. You don’t have that character. There was a Christopher Priest run that was pretty heavy, there’s a big scene where Panther’s fighting Kraven, Kraven the Hunter."

Kraven the Hunter, aka Sergei Kravinoff, is actually one of the most formidable villains in Spider-Man's rogues gallery. Introduced in 1964 as a crazed big game hunter, he made it his life's work to capture and kill Spider-Man, although as with all Marvel characters he has interacted with many other heroes and villains in the canon throughout his career.

Kraven The Hunter

Marvel Comics


Kraven is a villain that fans have long wanted to see on the screen, and it was hinted a few years ago that he might have made his big-screen debut in Sony's planned and then abandoned Sinister Six and The Amazing Spider-Man 3. In fact, it was Sony's ownership of the character that ultimately derailed Coogler's chances of having Kraven face off against T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman):

"I’ve always loved Kraven the Hunter in almost every iteration. So there was a moment -- ‘Can I grab Kraven?’ -- and they were like ‘Nah, you don’t have Kraven.’ He was one where I thought, ‘Oh, man.’ But I don’t even know if he would have worked in the movie we ended up with, this was the early days."

Although Sony has now allowed Spider-Man himself to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a whole slew of Spidey-related characters -- including Venom, Kraven, Black Cat, and many others -- still belong to Sony exclusively for film use, and may all form the basis of a new Sony Marvel universe (the upcoming Venom is the first foray into that). It remains to be seen whether Sony lets other characters -- especially some of Spidey's classic villains -- play in the MCU as well.

In the meantime, we can only dream about it. Would you have liked to see Black Panther square off against Kraven?

(via Comic Book Movie)