John Wick star Keanu Reeves has reportedly passed on the chance to play Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter in a standalone project for Sony. The studio had reportedly been in negotiations with Reeves over the part and were awaiting a reply which was received "months ago." This being Keanu Reeves, the reply was likely a very friendly "no, thank you". No reason has been given for Reeves not wanting to jump onboard.
Kraven the Hunter will follow the exploits of the Marvel character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for The Amazing Spider-Man #15 back in 1964. Born Sergei Kravinoff, Kraven was raised in Russia during the time of the Russian Revolution. After finding employment in Kenya, Africa, Kraven began his career using the typical tools of the hunter, but over time developed a preference to take down large animals with his bare hands. After meeting a Voodoo witch doctor named Calypso, Kravinoff is given a herbal potion which enhances his strength, speed and senses, as well as extending his life. Eventually, Kraven tires of big game hunting and is drawn to Spider-Man, slowly becoming obsessed with being the man to catch the friendly neighbourhood wallcrawler.
While it's currently unknown exactly what the movie will be about, Kraven the Hunter will likely tell the origin story of the beloved supervillain in much the same way as Venom and the upcoming Morbius have approached their respective characters in the absence of Spider-Man. Sony has tapped Triple Frontier director J. C. Chandor to helm the project, with The Equalizer writer Richard Wenk having signed on to pen the script. Wenk has since assured fans that the movie will "adhere very closely to the lore" of the Sinister Six villain, describing him as a "very grounded character" who would eventually "come face to face with Spider-Man."
With Keanu Reeves passing on the role, the search is back on for who best to fill the fur-lined boots of Kraven. Fans recently offered their own casting suggestions, with The Boys and Dredd star Karl Urban being high on many people's wish lists.
For those disappointed that Reeves will not suit up as Kraven, it can only be a matter of time before the cherished A-lister appears in a Marvel project, with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealing in the past that they "talk to him for almost every film we make. We talk to Keanu Reeves about. I don't know when, if, or ever he'll join the MCU, but we very much want to figure out the right way to do it."
Besides, Reeves will not be far from screens for the foreseeable future, with the actor reprising the role of the unstoppable assassin John Wick for not one, but two sequels, as well as bringing back The Matrix's Neo for this year's Matrix Resurrections, which is due for release on December 22, 2021.
While not much is yet known about the plot of Matrix Resurrections, Reeves himself has described the fourth Matrix movie as a "love story", as well as giving us at least some idea of the direction of the highly anticipated sequel. "We have a wonderful director, Lana Wachowski, and she has written a beautiful script that is a love story, it's inspiring," Reeves said recently. "It's another version, a call to wake up and it has some great action. All will be revealed." This comes to us from scooper Skyler Shuler of TheDisInsider.