With “Venom” hitting theaters over last weekend, breaking records with no signs of slowing down, Sony’s first attempt at a Spider-Verse spin-off film seems to be a hit, at least with the ticket-buying public. So, now everyone wants to know, what’s next? While probably not the first one to follow “Venom,” “Kraven the Hunter” might be one of the many spin-offs in development that has the most question marks and intrigue. And in a new interview, the writer of the film drops some hints as to why this spin-off might be the one to watch out for.
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For those not aware of the character Kraven the Hunter, it’s easy to break it down. Kraven is a big-game hunter (you know, the guys that kill lions just because it’s fun) that decides the biggest prey of his life would be Spider-Man. So he makes it his mission to hunt and kill Spider-Man. But you see, much like “Venom,” the origin of Kraven very much involves the popular superhero. So, how does writer Richard Wenk think he can tell a good Kraven story without Spider-Man? Well, he has no plans on finding out.
“It is in the Spider-Man Universe. It’s going to adhere very closely to the lore of Kraven the Hunter. And he is going to come face-to-face with Spider-Man,” said the writer in an interview with Discussing Film.
He continued, “I’m just beginning it, just beginning the process. And because it’s a big IP in the Marvel world, there’s a lot of hurdles to overcome before you can start writing. To crack the right story. To get the right tone.”
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Including Spider-Man in a ‘Kraven’ film would be a huge deal, needless to say. The very famous deal that Sony struck with Marvel Studios says that Spider-Man (at least the Tom Holland version) is firmly connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, these spin-off films have been relegated to their own universe, minus Spidey. “Venom” dodges the Spider-Man question pretty well, but definitely leaves the possibility open for a future crossover. But ‘Kraven’ seems to be starting from the mindset that Spidey will appear in the film.
Does that mean the deal with Marvel Studios has an expiration date? Is there a new deal in the works? Or maybe Sony plans on casting a new, different Spider-Man for its own universe? We’ll have to wait and see.
As for the storyline for a potential “Kraven the Hunter” film, Wenk, who is best known for his work on “The Equalizer” films, says he’s looking at every bit of comic book lore he can, even the character’s most famous storyline.
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“I think what we’re all circling is the infamous ‘Kraven’s Last Hunt’ and whether this is the precursor to that movie or whether it will include it. We’re talking about those things. Or maybe the idea that ‘Kraven’ could be like ‘Kill Bill’ where we’re basically writing two movies. It’s all in the mix,” he explained.
If you’re not familiar with the comics (and we’re guessing you’re not), “Kraven’s Last Hunt” is an iconic storyline that features the titular hunter finding and actually “killing” Spider-Man. Kraven then dons the mask of Spider-Man and becomes his own version of the hero, albeit a bit more brutal. Of course, since it’s comics, Spidey comes back to life and Kraven quits the charade. However, as Kraven feels he has won and completed his life’s mission, he goes home and shoots himself with a rifle, committing suicide.
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Let’s just say, we doubt that part of the story will end up in the film.
Wenk also goes on to discuss how he would “unequivocally” love to have his ‘Equalizer’ and “Magnificent Seven” collaborator Antoine Fuqua aboard to direct the film. However, as Umberto Gonzalez of The Wrap pointed out on Twitter, that seems like a longshot, “Not so fast, Sony just shot down that Antoine Fuqua/Kraven rumor: ‘No truth to this. No decisions on directors.’” Perhaps this is Wenk with a little bit of wishful thinking.
Regardless, as you can see, Spider-Man is an integral part of the best Kraven stories. So, it’ll be interesting to see how Sony navigates those waters in the months to come, as the film continues through the development process.