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The Rhino in Kraven the Hunter explained

Alessandro Nivola has joined the Kraven the Hunter cast as one of the best Spider-Man villains from the pages of the comics, so let's learn about The Rhino.

Marvel villain Rhino is in Kraven the Hunter

Who is The Rhino in Kraven the Hunter? The first trailer for Kraven the Hunter presented a tantalizing glimpse of its take on The Rhino, which looks set to give us a very different spin on the hulking baddie than we’ve seen before.

Out of nowhere, Kraven the Hunter has flown right up our mental watchlist of the most exciting new movies coming to screens this year. It has taken another of the best Spider-Man villains and created a blood-thirsty antihero tale for him. What more could you want? Well, maybe Alessandro Nivola transforming into The Rhino.

Yup, that’s right. There are more of the best Marvel villains than you can shake a stick at in Sony’s new Spider-Man spin-off. But who is The Rhino and how is this incarnation different? Let’s dig deep into the pages of the comic books to find all of the answers.

The Rhino in the Marvel comics explained

The Rhino is one of the more dim-witted Spider-Man villains, with superhuman strength and a rhino-like artificial skin covering.

Spidey has a very impressive rogues’ gallery of bad guys, but it’s fair to say that Rhino is something of an acquired taste. He’s a brute force villain, who can destroy a lot of stuff, but is nowhere near an intellectual match for Peter Parker.

Introduced in the mid-1960s, Rhino is Russian mafia crook Aleksei Sytsevich. Thanks to radiation and chemical treatments, he has an artificial skin covering like the tough exterior of a rhino. He has, of course, been a member of the Sinister Six in the past – and we reckon there’s a good chance this is where Sony’s universe is heading.

The Rhino in the Marvel Comics

The Rhino in the Marvel movies explained

The Rhino appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, with Paul Giamatti playing a version of the character in a rhino-inspired mech suit.

Giamatti made a brief appearance as Aleksei Sytsevich in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which was released in 2014 with Andrew Garfield then at the center of the revolving door of Spider-Man actors. To say the performance and the character leaned towards the camp would be quite an understatement.

Giamatti has since said there were plans for the character in future Spider-Man movies, but the Sony-MCU deal put paid to that particular franchise. It’s fair to say we aren’t mourning that too much.

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The Rhino in Kraven the Hunter explained

The Rhino (Alessandro Nivola) appears in the final shot of the Kraven the Hunter trailer, with his arm transforming into the tough skin of a rhino.

When the trailer first screened at CinemaCon 2023, it revealed the presence of The Rhino as an adversary for Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s take on Kraven the Hunter.

We’ve now seen the trailer, which introduces Nivola’s take on this juggernaut of a villain at the very end of the preview. “There is an animal in each one of us. Don’t you want to know why they call me The Rhino?” he drawls, as his arm turns grey and tough. Well, he might well have answered his own question.

We’re now very excited for the Kraven the Hunter release date to see what Nivola does with the character and how he fits into the movie.

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The Rhino powers and abilities explained

The Rhino has superhuman strength and speed, allowing him to charge the heroes he fights. His rhino suit is also impervious to a lot of damage.

Rhino might not be the most successful Spidey villain to ever grace the pages of the comics, but we’re excited to see those abilities pitted against Kraven. It seems the movie will take a more literal approach to these animalistic characters, especially with the change to how Kraven the Hunter gets his powers.

For more of the best movies coming from Sony’s web of Spidey projects, check out what we know about the Spider-Verse 3 release date, the Madame Web release date, and the Venom 3 release date.

You can also read our Across the Spider-Verse review, learn about all the Across the Spider-Verse easter eggs you missed, and find out why one Spider-Verse fan theory claims Gwen Stacy is trans.