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Sony’s Kraven the Hunter Movie: Everything You Need to Know

Born out of the brilliant minds of Marvel comics’ Stan Lee (writer) and Steve Ditko (artist), Kraven the Hunter prowls a jungle of action and intrigue from his origins as a Russian nobleman evading capture during the February Revolution, to his metamorphosis into a relentless, ruthless hunter of big game … and eventually human prey. Soon to be the lead in a self-titled movie from Sony, he is in all incarnations a force to be reckoned with and one of Spider-Man’s oldest and most formidable adversaries. 

In this article we’ll navigate Kraven’s untamed path from comics to games to film, exploring everything you need to know about the upcoming movies, and seeing if his portrayal in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 video game for PlayStation 5 (PS5) can provide some insight into what to expect. 

Can’t wait for the movie? Suit up on the PS5 and take on Kraven yourself! Swing by and catch our spoiler review of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

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Who is Kraven the Hunter?

Kraven the Hunter, a.k.a. Sergei Kravinoff, made his notoriously memorable (or is it memorably notorious?} debut in 1964’s The Amazing Spider-Man #15. Possessing superhuman strength, unparalleled agility, and unmatched hunting skills, Kraven becomes consumed by an obsession to capture Spider-Man and thereby prove his relentless prowess. Notably, he’s also a founding member of the infamous Sinister Six, a rogues gallery of Spidey’s most dangerous (and popular) foes that also includes Sandman, Dr. Octopus, Mysterio, Vulture, and Electro.

How will Kraven be portrayed on the silver screen?

Set to portray the titular character, actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson recently announced during his appearance at CineEurope in Barcelona that his version of Kraven would be retconned as an “animal lover” and a “protector of the natural world,” as reported by Variety. The trailer reinforces this interpretation, making it clear that the cinematic version of his origin story transforms him from a ruthless hunter bent on defeating Spider-Man to an abused antihero dedicated to destroying his father’s legacy.

It’s important to note that the Kraven the Hunter movie won’t be a part of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) but will instead exist as a film within the distinct “Sony Spider-Man Universe (SSU),” putting it alongside recent Spidey-adjacent flicks like Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and Morbius.

When does the Kraven the Hunter movie come out?

Kraven the Hunter is set to debut in theaters on August 30, 2024. This comes after missing its two previous release dates of January 13, 2023, and then October 6, 2023, the latter from delays connected to the recently resolved Writer’s Guild and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

Kraven the Hunter movie and the future of the SSU

Amid Kraven’s recent undercooked portrayal in the PS5 exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Sony’s decision to depict him as an antihero, fans are ambivalent about the upcoming film’s take on the character. At the root of this is the emerging realization that every upcoming SSU film will revolve around well-known Spider-Man villains retooled as antiheroes, all of whom have no connection to the web-slinger himself.

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Take, for example:

Madame Web

Sony recently dropped the trailer for Madame Web, an upcoming SSU movie slated to release six months before Kraven the Hunter. Dakota Johnson as the main character sometimes teeters toward good, and occasionally totters toward bad, though it appears she leans a bit more toward good most of the time, which has the result of making her kinda sorta neutral, probably not a good thing when you want a character potent enough to carry an entire film. Madame Web does mark a significant milestone for the SSU as its first female-led Spidey spinoff, and while that could be refreshing, there’s also the screenplay written by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, known for the severely disappointing Morbius script. The general outlook among fans prospects is therefore … let’s leave it to Hayley Williams to say it.

But getting back to Kraven the Hunter, not everyone expects the worst. Some fans are optimistic that it’ll offer a refreshing departure from the gag humor that’s taken over the Disney MCU, case in point is its recent The Marvels, which we’ll leave Forbes to tell us about this time, and it isn’t pretty.

(It should be mentioned, in fairness, that some critics view the second season of the Disney+ show Loki as a high point for the MCU, presenting one of the most emotionally resonant and thought-provoking storylines to date).

Anyway, as we await the releases of Kraven the Hunter and Madame Web, we’re left to swing between optimism and pessimism like Spidey on a web line, or perhaps to balance those two polarities like the Madame as she does her teetering tightrope walk between good and evil.

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Want to learn more about Madame Web? Make sure to catch our guide on how Sony’s Madame Web weaves into the SSU!

Key SSU 2024 release dates

On February 14, 2024, Sony’s Madame Web will make its debut, followed by Kraven the Hunter which is set to hit theaters on August 30, 2024, and finally, an untitled Venom: Let There Be Carnage sequel on November 8, 2024, further expanding the studio’s SSU film slate.

Ben Ahrens_Author HeadshotBen Ahrens is a versatile Silicon Valley-based writer, content marketer, photographer, and graphic designer. His passion lies in crafting engaging stories for the entertainment industry and embracing the tech culture of the Bay Area to uncover the next ground-breaking innovations. When not weaving words, you’ll find him curating the perfect playlist for every occasion or exploring the diverse landscapes of Northern California.

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