Following in the footsteps of Poison Y MorbiusSony is releasing a spin-off movie of another classic Spider-Man villain: Kraven the Hunter. It’s due out next year and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson in his third (!) superhero role. But a new interview is raising some questions about the direction of this new franchise, after Taylor-Johnson characterized Kraven as an “animal lover.”
Created in the 1960s, Kraven is a major game hunter who dresses in outrageous costumes made from animal skins. While he generally plays a villainous role, his personal code of honor means he sometimes slips into anti-hero territory.
Like most long-running Marvel characters, he’s evolved a lot over the decades. However, many fans were quick to mock Aaron Taylor-Johnson describing their version of him as an “animal lover and protector of the natural world”. The main reaction to this news is that people are immersed in the idea of “Kraven the member of PETA”, and predicting that the film will be a flop like Morbius.
The image of a vegan pacifist Kraven the Hunter is an easy punchline, but most of this backlash (you might be surprised to hear!) is people reacting to a quote out of context. in the original Variety article, Taylor-Johnson confirmed that Kraven will still be a hunter in the upcoming film. He will only be portrayed as an anti-hero rather than a full villain, much like the Poison the movies represent Eddie Brock.
To be honest, this direction makes a lot of sense. Marvel movies are aimed at a wide audience, including children, and a lot of people just don’t want to see a movie where a lot of animals are sacrificed. It seems that Sony is trying to retain Kraven’s general personality (“a hunter, a human with conviction”) in a way that allows him to be a conventional anti-hero. And as some Marvel fans have done he pointed, this still reflects the comics. While Kraven has a dark and violent legacy, he also has more upbeat stories, such as a recurring comedic role as Squirrel Girl’s friend and ally.
In the context of this upcoming film, the Jurassic Park The franchise is a worthwhile comparison. Those movies simultaneously portray dinosaurs as both dangerous monsters and friendly and/or vulnerable wild animals. if it’s from sony kraven the hunter follows a similar route, Kraven can easily be an action hero, a hunter, and a “protector of the natural world” at the same time.
*First published: June 21, 2022 at 12:46 pm CDT
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer for the Daily Dot who covers geek culture and fandom. Specializing in science fiction and superhero films, she also appears as a film and television critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor