Alessandro Nivola Joins Sony’s ‘Kraven The Hunter’

by Erik Amaya

For various reasons, it’s been awhile since we checked in with Sony’s Kraven the Hunter. Much like the character himself, the film has been stealthy as it assembles cast and key creative personnel.

As an example, Deadline reports A Most Violent Year actor Alessandro Nivola has joined the cast as the lead villain. First announced in 2020, the film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the title character created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee in The Amazing Spider-Man #15. According to his backstory, Sergei Kravinoff was the son of Russian aristocrats who immigrated to the US in 1917 as their country was swept up in the Soviet tide. Growing up with his family’s wealth and resources in tact, Sergei became a big game hunter. But unlike most people who choose that peculiar way of life, he learned to fight the animals he hunts with his bare hands. Desiring to be the best hunter on the planet, he decided to hunt the rarest of all game: Spider-Man. It lead to a longstanding feud between the characters until Sergei died in 1987’s “Kraven’s Last Hunt.” He eventually got better, battling against Spider-Man once more and befriending the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl in recent years.

The film, to be directed by A Most Violent Year‘s J.C. Chandor, will also feature Russell Crowe, Ariana DeBose, and Fred Hechinger. Stalwart Spider-Man producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are also aboard with writers Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Richard Wenk tackling the script.

As with Sony’s other Spider-Man Universe films, it is unclear if the story will share a universe with Venom, Morbius, or Madame Web. Considering the Multiversal structure Marvel Studios created to accommodate the previous Sony Spider-Man film series, its easy to imagine each will have their own individual world to work with. At the same time, though, we can bet Sony wants an Avengers-sized hit and already plans to bring the stars of each together at some point. Indeed, the studio once had grand plans for a Sinister Six film with each member also getting their own feature. It’s possible that may still be in play in some way. In the meantime, though, it is interesting to watch the studio commit resources to characters like Kraven without Spider-Man.

Although the film has no release date, Sony is currently holding two 2023 release dates for Spider-Man Universe films: June 23rd, 2023 and October 6th, 2023.

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