Sony’s Kraven the Hunter cast keeps growing, this time with the addition of Ariana DeBose. According to Deadline, DeBose is set to play Calypso, a voodoo priestess who’s a lover and a partner to the titular villain.
Set in Sony’s universe of Marvel characters, Kraven the Hunter will star Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the titular character. Just as Venom (Tom Hardy) and Morbius (Jared Leto), Kraven the Hunter was first introduced in Marvel Comics as a foe to Spider-Man. Born Sergei Kravinoff, Kraven is always trying to prove that he’s the best hunter in the world, which sometimes leads him to hunt the most dangerous prey of them all: Spider-Man himself. However, since the upcoming film will focus on the villain’s origin story, no iteration of the Web Slinger is expected to show up, which leads to the question of what Kraven the Hunter will try to tell.
While Kraven the Hunter is being developed in absolute secrecy, the movie is said to focus on the villain’s family. Last month, The White Lotus star Fred Hechinger was confirmed to play the Chameleon, Kraven’s brother and a master of disguise capable of mimicking anyone. Russell Crowe was also added as another member of Kraven’s family, although no further details about his character were revealed. Now, the addition of Calypso underlines that Kraven the Hunter will try to explore the human side of the villain, as the presence of Kraven’s long-time lover allows the film to show how the villain connects to other people on an intimate level, when he’s not pursuing his prey.
DeBose is coming out of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, which earned her a SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work as the scene-stealing Anita. DeBose also received nominations in the same category and for the same part at the Oscars, BAFTA, and Critics Choice Awards. She will be seen next in Matthew Vaughn’s action film Argylle, and Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s space thriller I.S.S.
Tom Hardy’s success as Venom led to the expansion of Sony’s universe of Marvel characters, with Jared Leto selected to play Morbius, the living vampire, which might indicate Sony is boosting up their corner of the Marvel universe in theaters. With Kraven’s production picking up the pace, Sony is ready to launch its third villain-based franchise in theaters, and hopefully, we’ll see big crossover events sooner than later.
Kraven the Hunter will be directed by Triple Frontier and A Most Violent Year’s J.C. Chandor, with a script by Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Richard Wenk. Taylor-Johnson has reportedly signed on to play the villain in multiple films.
Kraven the Hunter is scheduled to release in theaters on January 13, 2023.