Sony Pictures is reportedly in talks with director J.C. Chandor to helm a movie based around the Marvel Comics villain Kraven the Hunter, according to Deadline. If this goes forward, it would make Kraven the third Spider-Man villain to make the jump to a solo movie after Venom and next year’s Morbius.
Chandor is a name that should be familiar to a certain type of movie fan. His previous films include his debut, Margin Call, as well as the highly acclaimed All is Lost with Robert Redford and the outstanding A Most Violent Year, the latter being an A24 release that starred Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. His most recent effort, Triple Frontier, debuted on Netflix last year with a cast that included Isaac, Ben Affleck, Charlie Hunnam and Pedro Pascal.
Kraven the Hunter is widely regarded as one of Spider-Man’s best-known and most formidable enemies. The half-brother of another Spidey rogue, the Chameleon, Kraven–real name Sergei Kravinoff–is a big game hunter who becomes obsessed with bagging Spider-Man as his greatest prize.
An original member of the Sinister Six, the baddie was introduced with the typical sort of camp and flair exhibited by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 in 1964. However, the storyline he is most remembered for, “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” was written in 1987 by J.M. Dematteis and Mike Zeck. That comic arc chronicled his final battle with Peter Parker and revealed Kraven was an imbalanced Russian aristocrat who as a child survived the Russian Revolution, a la The Most Dangerous Game. It is considered one of Spidey’s finest storylines. Hell, even Ryan Coogler wanted him for the first Black Panther movie.
Screenwriter Richard Wenk has penned the Kraven screenplay, which is said to be based on the “Last Hunt” storyline. Sony, which retains the film rights to Spider-Man and his famous rogues gallery, has wanted to bring Kraven to the big screen for a while, with the hunter rumored to be part of a long-gestating Sinister Six movie at one point before the studio partnered with Marvel to help it rescue its Spider-franchise.
After the Spider-Man ship was righted with Tom Holland’s debut in Captain America: Civil War, followed by Spider-Man: Homecoming, producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach decided to put a series of movies in motion at Sony starring some of Spidey’s enemies and anti-heroes.
The first of those films, Venom, was a massive hit, triggering the development and production of Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Morbius. Both were originally set to arrive this year but were shifted to 2021 by the coronavirus pandemic.
Also in development at Marvel are a female-led superhero movie, which is expected to be Spider-Woman, with Olivia Wilde set to direct, and movies based around more obscure (except to diehard fans) characters like Madame Web (with S.J. Clarkson directing), Jackpot, and Black Cat and Silver Sable. A sequel to the brilliant animated effort Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is also in the works.
Earlier this year, Sony also set an October 2021 release for a mystery Sony/Marvel movie, which conceivably could have been the Kraven film. It’s not known, however, whether that date will hold as release windows continue to shift according to the spread of COVID-19.
One big question is whether Spider-Man himself will show up in the Kraven movie, especially one based on “Kraven’s Last Hunt.” But Spidey skipped out on the first Venom entry and it’s not clear whether he’s obligated to appear in other Sony spin-offs.
Tom Holland is slated to return as Spidey for a third standalone outing–once again produced with Marvel Studios–as well as another appearance in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. The third Spidey movie, which was moved from summer 2021 to later that year, will begin shooting this winter, with Jon Watts once again returning to direct and details such as the plot and main villain kept under wraps for now.