Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, which doesn’t actually have Spider-Man in it, has gotten one cast member bigger. THR is reporting that Russell Crowe has joined the cast of the upcoming Spidey spin-off movie Kraven the Hunter in an unknown role. The Oscar-winning actor will be joining Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who was previously announced as playing the title character.
We know little to nothing about the movie at this point, with characters and plot kept tightly under wraps for now. Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Richard Wenk wrote the screenplay, which is said to focus on Kraven and his family of hunting enthusiasts, the Kravinoffs. This could mean that Russell Crowe will play a father figure of some sort, though there hasn’t been one introduced in the comics where Kraven the Hunter appears. He could also play Chameleon, another of Spider-Man’s foes, who is Kraven’s half-brother. The actor is racking up superhero roles as he’ll also be playing Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder.
The film, which is directed by J.C. Chandor, is another building block in Sony’s attempt to construct its weird off-shoot universe of Spidey heroes and villains without actually using Spider-Man since he’s off in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the rampant success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sony is riding high on the property. However, its expanded universe has yet to be truly tested, with only Venom: Let There Be Carnage being released and Morbius collecting dust on the shelf waiting for Sony to feel it’s OK to drop the movie. Big-name casting won’t save a cinematic universe, and the campy success of Venom is incredibly hard to repeat.
The casting of Russell Crowe in Kraven the Hunter comes on the back of Dakota Johnson taking on the role of Madame Web in an upcoming movie based on that character. Kraven the Hunter is planned to release on January 13, 2023.