Another addition has been made to the Kraven the Hunter cast, Deadline reveals. Alessandro Nivola has reportedly been cast as a villain in the upcoming blockbuster, although Sony is staying mum on which villain the actor is set to play. With a release date scheduled for early 2023, the comic book-inspired story follows the title character who is best known as one of Spider-Man’s main antagonists and is constantly out to prove he’s the best hunter in the world.
Even though Kraven hasn’t been featured in previous Spider-Man movies or even in the Venom franchise – which are all part of a growing Universe of Marvel characters that Sony is building up – fans speculate the movie will be an origin story with Kraven portrayed as an anti-hero, just like Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) was in Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Another Spidey villain that’s getting the anti-hero treatment is Morbius (Jared Leto), who’s coming to theaters on April 1.
Nivola joins a previously announced slate of stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) will play the title character, while Fred Hechinger (The White Lotus) is Kraven’s brother and master of disguise Chameleon. West Side Story’s breakout star Ariana DeBose will embody voodoo priestess Calypso, who is also Kraven’s lover and partner. Finally, Academy Award winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator) is also in the cast, but in an undisclosed role.
Nivola has been in several high-profile movies such as Face/Off, Jurassic Park III, and Selma. Most recently, he played Dickie Moltisanti in The Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark. Should the actor’s character be a big villain in the story, this will be Nivola’s first high-profile role in a super-hero blockbuster.
Details from the plot of Kraven the Hunter are being kept secret by Sony, but this upcoming movie, along with the Venom franchise and the upcoming Morbius make it clear that the studio is moving at full speed in order to create its own Marvel Cinematic Universe, with its origins set on some of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains.
Kraven the Hunter is directed by Academy Award nominee J.C. Chandor, who previously helmed an eclectic combination of movies that include All is Lost, A Most Violent Year, and Margin Call. So, depending on how much creative liberty the filmmaker is given, we could be looking at a very different origin story. The screenplay is penned by Art Marcum (Iron Man), Richard Wenk (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back), and Matt Holloway (Uncharted).
Kraven the Hunter is slated to premiere in theaters on January 13, 2023.