Kraven the Hunter release date, cast, plot, and more

After Morbius, Venom, and Venom 2, Sony is pushing ahead with its Spider-Man villain movies — so here's what we know about the Kraven the Hunter release date

Kraven the Hunter release date: Kraven the Hunter in the Marvel comics

What is the Kraven the Hunter release date? Forget Morbin' time, it's Krav'n time now, as Sony gears up to release the latest superhero movie in its Spider-Man villain slate. The character has a long history in the Marvel universe, first debuting back in 1964 in issue 15 of The Amazing Spider-Man comic series.

Typically, Kraven is portrayed as a highly-skilled big-game hunter, whose goal is to beat Spider-Man in order to prove himself as the world's greatest hunter. In the comics, he is one of Spidey's most formidable adversaries and was a founding member of the villain team the Sinister Six along with Doctor Octopus, Electro, Mysterio, Sandman, and Vulture.

Although he often clashes with Spider-Man and occasionally other heroes like Black Panther, he is also known to be an anti-hero: teaming up with Spidey on occasion in the comics. As a character with over fifty years of history in the comics, some might say a big-screen debut for the villain is way overdue. So, here's everything we know about the Kraven the Hunter release date, plot, and cast.

Kraven the Hunter release date

Sony has confirmed that Kraven the Hunter will be released on October 6, 2023. The project was recently pushed back, after initially having a January release date.

Despite the film first being announced in 2018, filming didn’t commence on the project until March 2022. Shooting then wrapped in June 2022, with Aaron Taylor Johnson revealing that the film had been shot entirely on location.

Now that the movie is in post-production, we should hopefully hear more in terms of plot, casting, and trailers in the coming months — but this is what we got so far.

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Kraven the Hunter cast

The cast for Kraven the Hunter is rounding off nicely, with Bullet Train actor Aaron Taylor Johnson playing the titular villain. Kraven’s partner in crime and lover, Calypso, is set to be played by West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose, while Christopher Abbott will be bringing another Spider-Man villain to screen as The Foreigner.

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Russell Crowe might’ve recently made his MCU debut as Zeus, but it looks like he’s covering all bases Marvel-wise as he’s also reported to be playing a member of Kraven’s family in the upcoming film. Other major castings for the movie include Fred Hechinher as Kraven’s half-brother The Chameleon and Alessandro Nivola in an as-yet-undisclosed villain role.

Once we know more about who’s who in Kraven, we’ll let you know!

Kraven the Hunter release date: Kraven in the Marvel comics

Kraven the Hunter cast

  1. Aaron Taylor Johnson as Sergei Kravinoff/Kraven
  2. Ariana DeBose as Calypso Ezili
  3. Christopher Abbott as The Foreigner
  4. Fred Hechinher as Dmitri Nikolaievich Smerdyakov/The Chameleon
  5. Alessandro Nivola in an undisclosed villain role
  6. Russell Crowe in an undisclosed role
  7. Levi Miller in an undisclosed role
  8. Murat Seven as Ömer Aksoy

Kraven the Hunter release date: Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Bullet Train

Kraven the Hunter Plot speculation

Like Morbius and Venom, it’s expected that Kraven the Hunter will act as an origin story for the villain and take him on somewhat of an anti-hero arc as Sony try and make their Sinister Six slate happen.

Although Sony’s version of Kraven is set to deviate pretty dramatically from the comics — with Aaron Taylor Johnson describing him as an “animal lover and protector of the natural world” — Richard Wenk, who is serving as screenwriter for the movie, previously expressed a desire to incorporate ‘Kraven’s Last Hunt.’

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The infamous Marvel comics storyline has Kraven take over Spider-Man’s identity and donning his suit in a bid to prove he’s a better hunter than him.

“I think that what we’re all circling is Kraven’s Last Hunt and whether this is the precursor to that movie or will include it,” Wenk explained in an interview with Discussing Film. “We’re talking about those things. And even the idea that maybe Kraven could be like Kill Bill where we’re basically writing two movies.”

We know that Aaron Taylor Johnson has signed a multi-movie deal for Kraven, so the idea of Kraven the Hunter being the first of a two-part movie that ultimately follows Kraven’s Last Hunt plot is a real possibility. But this comes with a few issues.

Kraven the Hunter release date: Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Firstly, the original comic storyline involves Kraven taking his own life — and that just doesn’t seem feasible on the big screen because not only is Aaron Taylor Johnson signed on for multiple movies, but who would kill off a character at the end of their own origin story?

Another issue is which Spider-Man, if at all, would appear in the film? The ownership of Spider-Man has been a tense topic for Disney and Sony, but now the multiverse has opened in the MCU, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Tom Holland to appear as Spidey.

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But equally, both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield haven’t ruled out reprising their roles as their respective web-slingers in future projects. And as campaigns mount for Andrew Garfield to get a third Spider-Man movie with Sony, a crossover with Kraven feels like the perfect opportunity to kick things off, hype fans up, and try and give the Sinister Six saga some credibility after Venom 2 and Morbius both underperformed.

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Another option is for Sony to rework ‘Kraven’s Last Hunt’ so it works without Spider-Man — or have another character fulfil that role — but we can definitely expect some overlapping themes or, at least, the groundwork to be laid for a ‘Kraven’s Last Hunt’ adaptation in the future.

If you want to know more about the Spider-Verse, check out our guide detailing the best Spider-Man movies, ranked. Or, for more things to look forward to, here’s our list of the 2023 movies we can’t wait for. We also have a guide breaking down the best new movies 2023 has to offer.