Sony's Marvel movie Kraven the Hunter has found its lead star. On Wednesday, the studio announced that Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Avengers: Age of Ultron) has signed on to play the titular Spider-Man villain. Per TheWrap, the deal includes multiple pictures of Taylor-Johnson as the supervillain, meaning we're likely to see him showing up in potential sequels or other projects in Sony's Marvel universe.
Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Richard Wenk wrote the screenplay for Kraven the Hunter, which is billed as the next chapter of Sony's universe of Marvel characters - a cinematic universe that also includes Venom and Morbius. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing the project. It's still unclear who will be directing the movie, but Sony has set a release date for Jan. 13, 2023.
This is certainly not the first foray into comic book movie adaptations for Aaron Taylor-Johnson. In 2010, he starred as the titular teen superhero in Kick-Ass, based on the Marvel comic book of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The role earned him a nomination for Breakout Male Star at the Teen Choice Awards along with a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination. Taylor-Johnson would reprise the role for the sequel Kick-Ass 2 in 2013.
Marvel fans will also recognize Taylor-Johnson for his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver. He debuted as the character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier before his role was expanded in the crossover movie Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. There was speculation that his character might appear on WandaVision to reunite with his sister Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), but it was another Quicksilver actor (Evan Peters) who popped up in the series instead.
A former child actor, Taylor-Johnson has many movie credits to his name over the past couple decades. Some of his other big screen credits include Nowhere Boy, Savages, Godzilla, and Nocturnal Animals. Taylor-Johnson also appeared in Christopher Nolan's latest movie, Tenet, which also starred John David Washington and Robert Pattinson. He can next be seen in the upcoming spy movie The King's Man when it is released by 20th Century Studios on Dec. 22, 2021.
First appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 in 1964, Kraven the Hunter was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. A big game hunter whose real name is Sergei Kravinoff, Kraven has his sights set on Spider-Man as the ultimate prey. Over the years in Spider-Man lore, Kraven has also been depicted as more of an antihero, though he's usually presented as a villain. Because it's still unclear if and when Spidey will show up in Sony's Marvel universe, how Kraven will be portrayed in his own solo movie remains to be seen.
Kraven the Hunter will be released by Sony Pictures on Jan. 13, 2023. Meanwhile, fans won't have to wait so long for other chapters of Sony's Marvel universe. Venom: Let There Be Carnage will be released on Sept. 24, 2021, following significant delays. Morbius will follow with its own release on July 28, 2022. This news comes to us from TheWrap.