In what has been a flurry of news, Sony has officially begun marketing for their newest origin story plucked from the Spider-Man rogues gallery, Kraven the Hunter, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the title role. The first poster dropped yesterday, alongside a downright gnarly red-band trailer that eats up it’s full 3-minute runtime. With a release date set for October, we figured we’d better start the hunt now so that you’re caught up when the movie finally rolls around. Here’s what you need to know about the Kraven trailer, and what it all means.
He’s Turned Over a New Knife
For starters, and arguably most shockingly, this iteration of Kraven appears to be a bit of a pacifist. Well, pacifist isn’t the right word; he’s seen absolutely tearing people apart in this trailer. Biting off noses, using a bear trap like a sword, and charging people on all fours, he doesn’t shy away from violence by any means. But in a flashback sequence, we see a young Kraven facing down a lion. His father, played by Russell Crowe, demands that he shoot it, but he hesitates until it is too late. The lion mangles him, and his father leaves him to die. The last thing we’re shown is a drop of blood from the lion trickling down into an open wound on Kraven’s torso, seemingly transforming him into the animalistic monster that he is in the present day.
Aside from an intimidating new set of yellow eyes, he’s given the ability to talk to communicate with animals in the wild, which is much unlike his roots in Spider-Man comics of old. Not only does this Kraven not want to kills animals, but he makes a point to team up with them, using his abilities to his advantage. Later in the trailer, he vows to turn his father’s brutality against him, stating: “My father puts evil into the world… I take it out.” On the surface, this seems like a somewhat heroic turn for the character, but of course, any hero would scoff at his methods. We’re in for another anti-hero take from the Sony Spider-Man Universe (SSU).
The Roots of Rhino
Though we won’t be short of a true Spider-Man villain in the film. As this new version of Kraven isn’t alone, and his father isn’t the only villain that he has to watch out for. Enter Rhino, played by Alessandro Nivola. This character seems to be much more akin to his evil comic book roots in this origin story, with a sequence in the trailer that shows his arm slowly being overcome by a grey, leathery texture, preceded by this line: “There is an animal in each one of us. Don’t you want to know why they call me the Rhino?” A little on the horn there, but we’ll let it slide.
Whilst dealing with both the Rhino and his father, Kraven will also have to balance a rocky relationship with his half-brother, Dmitri Smerdyakov (Fred Hechinger). He’s estranged from their father as well, but likely for different reasons. ‘You are exactly like our father. Just another man hunting for a trophy.” he states, wearing a dress suit and gelled hair that clashes with Kraven’s classic fur coat and wilder look. Dmitri is the supervillain and master of disguise Chameleon, the first ever adversary of Spider-Man in the comics, so we can only imagine what he is going to be up to in this story. It’s safe to say that Kraven has a lot on his plate in this one.
Action in Abundance
All the drama in the trailer is strung together with a ton of action, from a forest fight scene to a car chase (as in Kraven chases a car on foot). He also coordinates an attack with a wolf in a blizzard in one scene, and springs off a wall and onto an armed man in another, killing him and all his cronies in what looks to be a wicked hallway brawl. You could write an entire essay on the action set-pieces featured in this trailer alone.
The trailer has already amassed nearly half-a-million views on YouTube in less than two hours. Kraven the Hunter seems to have already grabbed the attention of comic-book and movie fans alike. Following the bashing that Morbius received, and the overall disappointment with the lack of violence in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Kraven may be just what the SSU needed. With it still being three months until October, we’re bound to learn so much more about this film before it releases, so until the next hunt, leave your thoughts on the first trailer in the comments below!
Movie-loving writer and aspiring filmmaker.