Sony's next Spider-Man spin-off movie has been given an official release date. Kraven the Hunter, which will follow in the footsteps of Venom and Morbius before it, is officially set to hit theaters in January 2023. This comes as it was recently revealed that Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been cast in the lead role. J.C. Chandor (Triple Frontier) is in the director's chair.
Kraven the Hunter is currently scheduled to arrive on January 13, 2023. This will mark the first time that the iconic Spider-Man villain has appeared in a live-action movie. Kraven, aka Sergei Kravinoff, is an expert hunter obsessed with taking down big game. The character made his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man#15 and has remained a fixture of the Marvel Comics universe ever since. There is no word yet on how soon production could begin. Art Marcum (Men In Black: International), Matt Holloway (Transformers: The Last Knight) and Richard Wenk (The Equalizer) penned the screenplay
Aaron Taylor-Johnson previously dipped his toes into the Marvel universe as Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, these Sony movies do not officially take place in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. We know with movies like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that the idea of the multiverse is going to be explored. Plus, the Morbius trailer hinted strongly that these movies in Sony's universe of Marvel-licensed characters exist somewhere within a shared multiverse with the MCU.
The difference, in this case, is that Aaron Taylor-Johnson is already signed on for multiple movies. This is not expected to be a one-and-done situation. That can certainly change but the studio seems confident that this can be a successful franchise in its own right. They had approached A-listers such as Brad Pitt, Adam Driver and Keanu Reeves for the role. But they were ultimately impressed with the Godzilla and Kick-Ass star and locked him down.
While Sony has a deal in place that lets Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, appear in the MCU alongside The Avengers and other Marvel heroes, the studio still controls the rights to Spidey and his supporting cast of characters. It is believed that Sony has the rights to thousands of figures from the pages of Marvel Comics. As such, they have produced spin-offs without the webslinger in them. Venom, released in 2018, proved to be a huge success, taking in $856 million at the box office. A sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, is set to arrive later this year.
That encouraged the studio to pursue other projects in the universe. Morbius, which stars Jared Leto as "The Living Vampire," was originally set to arrive last year. It is currently set to arrive in January 2022. Sony, additionally, has Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 currently in production. Several other characters such as Black Cat, Silver Sable and Nightwatch have been explored as possible franchises. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any other details are made available. This news was previously reported by The Wrap.