When will Kraven The Hunter be released?

The fifth film in Sony’s Spider-Man spin-off series is set to be wild

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Kraven The Hunter
Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars in Spider Man spin-off Kraven The Hunter. (Sony Pictures)

Sony’s extended Spider-Man universe will soon get a new chapter to add to its rogues’ gallery, with Kraven The Hunter pouncing onto screens in December.

The character, who first appeared in a 1964 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man comic, is a fearless hunter who dreams of bagging the ultimate prize: Spider-Man.

While it’s currently unclear whether this fascination with Marvel’s web-head will follow Kraven onto the big screen, what we do know is that this fan-favourite character’s cinema debut is definitely on the way, with Bullet Train star Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the leading role.

Read more: The craziest Spider-Man spin-offs that nearly got made

The film follows Sony and Columbia Pictures’ continued collaboration with Marvel that brought us two Venom movies starring Tom Hardy in 2018 and 2021, Jared Leto’s Morbius in 2022, and Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web earlier this year.

What else do we know? Well, if you’re waiting patiently for this Spider-baddie to strike, why not catch up on everything we know about Kraven The Hunter in the meantime?

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Kraven The Hunter
The blockbuster is directed by A Most Violent Year filmmaker J. C. Chandor. (Sony Pictures)

Kraven The Hunter will swing into cinema screens on 13 December. The film was originally due to land in January 2023 but its release date has since been delayed three times.

The first trailer for Kraven the Hunter was released in June 2023 which teased both Taylor-Johnson and Russell Crowe in their respective roles.

It also showed a glimpse of his origin story and how Kraven came to become the merciless super-powered villain that he is.

Russell Crowe in Kraven The Hunter
Russell Crowe stars in the movie as aristocrat Nikolai Kravinoff. (Sony Pictures)

First appearing in issue 15 of The Amazing Spider-Man comic series and created by Spidey’s own Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, Kraven has since carved out an extensive history in comic canon.

The son of a Russian aristocrat, his real name is Sergei Kravinoff and he’s described as a man whose obsessed with big game hunting. In order to prove that he’s the world’s greatest hunter, Kravinoff sets his sights on the “most dangerous game” around — which just so happens to be Spider-Man.

In addition to encountering a number of other Marvel characters over the years, including Black Panther and Squirrel Girl, Kraven also established himself as one of the Sinister Six: the group of anti-Avengers baddies that team up to take down Spider-Man.

He’s had a number of near-misses with movies too.

Spider-Man director Sam Raimi originally wanted the character for his unmade fourth Spidey movie with Tobey Maguire, before director Marc Webb rebooted things with The Amazing Spider-Man and teased Kraven’s arrival.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Kraven The Hunter
Kraven The Hunter first appeared in issue 15 of The Amazing Spider-Man comic series. (Sony Pictures)

Director Ryan Coogler even wanted the character to face off against T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther before work on Sony’s movie adaptation was unveiled.

At the time of writing, it’s currently unclear which elements of Kraven’s extensive backstory will make it into his first cinematic outing. However, with some familiar faces from his lore already cast in director J. C. Chandor’s movie — and a distinct anti-hero element powering each of Sony’s Spider-Man spin-offs so far — we can start to piece together an idea of what Kraven The Hunter might be like.

What’s more, we also have some comments from the film’s star, with Taylor-Johnson calling the character an “animal lover” and a "protector of the natural world.”

He added that Kraven is “one of Marvel’s most iconic, notorious anti-heroes — Spider Man’s number one rival,” describing him as “not an alien, or a wizard. He’s just a hunter, a human with conviction.”

Alessandro Nivola attends The Big Cigar photocall at The London West Hollywood Hotel
The Many Saints of Newark star Alessandro Nivola will play Spider-Man villain Rhino. (AFP/Getty)

Tenet and Kick Ass actor Taylor-Johnson will be playing the fur-loving Kraven The Hunter in director Chandor’s upcoming movie, with Gladiator star Crowe playing his aristocratic father Nikolai Kravinoff.

West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose will play Kraven’s voodoo priestess love interest Calypso, with Fred Hechinger of The White Lotus’ first season bringing Kraven’s half-brother Dmitri Smerdyakov to life. You may know Smerdyakov as his alter ego, Chameleon, a character with the ability to change his physical appearance to resemble other people.

Meanwhile, when it comes to villains, It Comes At Night’s Christopher Abbott will play an evil mercenary with hypnosis abilities known as the Foreigner, with The Many Saints of Newark star Alessandro Nivola playing classic Spider-Man villain Rhino.

Pan actor Levi Miller has also joined the cast but his role is currently undisclosed. Our money’s on him playing a younger version of Kraven.

Kraven The Hunter will be released in cinemas on 13 December