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Kraven the Hunter Star Calls His Spider-Man Villain an Animal Loving Antihero

Kraven the Hunter star Aaron Taylor-Johnson opens up about his Marvel character, calling him “an animal lover and a protector of the natural world.”

Kraven the Hunter star Aaron Taylor-Johnson has opened up regarding the version of the infamous Spider-Man villain he plays in Sony’s next live-action Marvel spinoff film.

Taylor-Johnson discussed Sergei Kravinoff, better known as Kraven the Hunter, during a recent interview with Variety, calling the character “one of Marvel’s most iconic, notorious anti-heroes — Spider Man’s number one rival.” What drew the actor to the role is the fact that Kraven is “not an alien, or a wizard. He’s just a hunter, a human with conviction. An animal lover and a protector of the natural world. He’s a very, very cool character.” Taylor-Johnson also explained that, unlike many other modern Marvel films, Kraven the Hunter is “shot entirely on location.”

RELATED: Kraven the Hunter Set Photos Reveal Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Surprisingly Well-Dressed Marvel Villain

While Kraven being a big-game hunter seemingly puts him at odds with the idea of also being an animal lover, the original Marvel comic books do show that Kraven has a great deal of respect for the animals he hunts, albeit in his own twisted way. Take, for instance, the recent “Hunted” arc from Amazing Spider-Man, which saw Kraven capture a group of animal-themed supervillains, forcing them to be hunted as a way of honoring the souls of the animals whose images they have appropriated. In the same arc, Kraven was also shown to have a great deal of disdain for affluent individuals who kill animals for sport.

On that note, in real life, there is ongoing debate regarding whether or not hunting ultimately has a positive role to play when it comes to wildlife conservation. One of the biggest arguments in favor of ethical, regulated hunting is that it serves to control the population of certain animal species, as well as generates revenue that is used to preserve habitats, thus safeguarding wildlife populations. Even still, though, there has already been much debate among Marvel fans regarding whether portraying Kraven in such a light would be true to his villainous comic origins.

RELATED: Kraven the Hunter Set Video Teases a Major Airplane Sequence

Kraven the Hunter is slated to hit theaters in early 2023 as the fourth entry in Sony’s line of live-action Marvel spinoff films focusing on members of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, following 2018’s Venom, 2021’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage and 2022’s Morbius. Much like Venom and Morbius, Kraven was originally introduced to the world of comics as a villain, though, in recent years, has been portrayed as an anti-hero on occasion.

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Kraven first appeared in 1964’s Amazing Spider-Man #15. He is perhaps best known for the iconic 1987 story arc “Kraven’s Last Hunt” by J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck, Bob McLeod, Bob Sharen, Janet Jackson and Rick Parker. Kraven is a founding member of the Sinister Six, as well as the half-brother of fellow Spider-Man villain Dmitri Smerdyakov, better known as the Chameleon.

RELATED: Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield Says Aaron Taylor-Johnson Is the Perfect Kraven the Hunter

In addition to Taylor-Johnson as the title character, Sony’s Kraven the Hunter movie stars Fred Hechinger as Dmitri Smerdyakov; Ariana DeBose as Calypso, a voodoo priestess with ties to Kraven; and Christopher Abbott as the Foreigner, another Spider-Man villain who will reportedly serve as the film’s main antagonist. Additionally, Russell Crowe and Levi Miller have been cast in undisclosed roles, while Alessandro Nivola is set to play an undisclosed antagonist.

See Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s version of Sergei Kravinoff when Sony’s Kraven the Hunter releases in theaters on Jan. 13, 2023.

Source: Variety

Noah E. Dominguez is a news editor at Comic Book Resources who joined the site as a news writer in the summer of 2018. He even writes features on occasion. He has also written for sites like WhatCulture and Gaming Access Weekly (formerly Gamer Assault Weekly), and holds a degree in mass communication. What will he do next? Stay tuned. You can follow him on Twitter at @NoahDominguez_

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