Spider-Man spin-off Kraven The Hunter casts British star in title role

Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been cast as villain Kraven The Hunter in the latest Spider-Man spin-off film from Sony.

The British actor has already appeared in a Marvel film, as Pietro Maximoff (brother to Wanda of WandaVision) in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

However, Spider-Man’s complex studio ownership history means that despite being a Marvel superhero, Sony currently owns the film rights to the character and his rogues gallery – meaning the Kraven film won’t interfere with Marvel Studios’ sprawling cinematic universe.

To confuse matters, though, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is currently part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), under a special agreement between the two studios – but other films based on the wall-crawler are not.

Those include the Oscar-winning animation Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and the Tom Hardy-fronted Venom, which gets a sequel later this year.

Kraven The Hunter has a release date of 13 January 2023, and will be directed by JC Chandor as part of Sony’s expanding collection of Marvel-based films.

The villain is one of Spider-Man’s best-known enemies, and is usually depicted as a famous big game hunter who is trying to hone his skills while taking down the web-slinger.

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Kraven first appeared in the Marvel comics in a 1964 edition of The Amazing Spider-Man and has since appeared in animated shows and video games, but never a major film.

Taylor-Johnson is becoming something of a veteran of comic book films – as well as the Avengers, the 30-year-old has also appeared in Kick-Ass. Other blockbusters he’s featured in include Tenet and Godzilla.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is set to be the final time the character appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Image: Spider-Man, seen here in 2019’s Far From Home, has had a complex relationship with the big screen

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Elsewhere in the Sony-Marvel universe, Tom Hardy will reprise his role as Venom in sequel Let There Be Carnage in September, while Jared Leto will play vampire Morbius in a film of the same name next year.

Meanwhile, the next adventure for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, titled No Way Home, will open later this year, with rumours that former web-heads Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield could be set to don the famous spandex suit once again.

No Way Home will be the fourth MCU film of 2021 after Black Widow, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, and the long-awaited Eternals from Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao, which got its first trailer this week.

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