Well, there we have it. Sony has chosen Godzilla and Avengers: Age of Ultron star Aaron Taylor-Johnson as their Kraven the Hunter for the upcoming Spider-Man spin-off. But, it has now emerged that was not always going to be the case, with the studio offering the part to several other high-profile names including Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, John David Washington and Adam Driver. According to Justin Kroll, who was one of the first to report Taylor-Johnson's selection, it was the actor's performance in the upcoming action thriller Bullet Train that won him the role.
This does track with a recent rumor regarding Keanu Reeves, which claimed that the John Wick star passed on the part as Kraven, no doubt with a very friendly and warm "no, thank you". While the likes of John David Washington and Brad Pitt have never been linked with the role, their inclusion in Sony's wishlist is not too surprising considering both actor's talents and profiles. Interestingly, Pitt will star alongside Taylor-Johnson in director David Leitch's Bullet Train, suggesting that the studio's quest for a bit of Pitt in Kraven the Hunter may have led them to find their star.
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 the specific plot of the movie is currently unknown, Kraven the Hunter will likely tell the origin story of the beloved supervillain in much the same way as Venom before it, with Sony's upcoming Morbius also approaching the character in a similar way in the absence of their shared enemy, 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."
So, knowing now who Sony had sought for the lead role, would you have preferred the likes of Brad Pitt of Keanu Reeves in the Spider-Man spin-off over Aaron Taylor-Johnson? Kraven the Hunter is scheduled to be released on January 13, 2023. This comes to us from Justin Kroll. The Topper image comes from @theimaginativehobbyist on Instagram