Aaron Taylor-Johnson on Playing Kraven the Hunter: “We’ve All Had Enough of Seeing Certain Studio Films”


Since Sony and Disney made a deal about Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which Tom Holland debuted as the web-slinger in 2016, Sony decided to put more effort into building their own cinematic universe, officially called Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, in which Spider-Man still hasn’t appeared, but some other characters associated with him have.

SSU kicked off with ‘Venom’ in 2018 and since then several other movies have been released, sequel to ‘Venom,’ ‘Morbius’ and most recently released ‘Madame Web.’ The movies weren’t exactly critically acclaimed, with ‘Morbius’ and ‘Madame Web’ earning more in meme points than at the box office. But, SSU goes on, and this year alone two additional movies will be released, ‘Venom: The Last Dance’ and ‘Kraven the Hunter.’

‘Kraven the Hunter’ stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the role of the titular Spider-Man villain. As far as Spider-Man supporting characters go, Kraven is one of the most recognizable and most brutal. Now speaking to Rolling Stone, Aaron Taylor-Johnson revealed that he signed on for the role since he considers the character, grounded and unique.

I think there was something unique about this character, and something grounded. We’ve all had enough of seeing certain studio films, a certain kind of pop culture… where they’re churning out stuff that dilutes wanting to go to the cinema. I wouldn’t have signed onto it if I felt there wasn’t something to really bring to life with this character.

It seems that Johnson is really hopeful that his upcoming movie will have a certain depth and rawness that is needed to faithfully portray Kraven on the screen. He also revealed that he isn’t exactly a comic-book fan but that he quickly got hooked once he started studying the raw material.

I’m not a comic-book reader, but there’s one called Kraven’s Last HuntYou just think, ‘What the fuck have I just read?’ That’s the kind of character I’m playing. But then, a lot of the people who grew up with Marvel are old enough now to watch an R-rated movie.

Despite the studio having big plans both for ‘Madame Web’ and Morbius, Johnson is still hopeful that his character might get a franchise within the SSU.

Taking on a Sony / Marvel movie is a different challenge altogether. There’s the story, the character, the role; that’s one thing. But then you also step into a world where you’re dealing with a studio and a franchise — or possible franchises, though let’s not get ahead of ourselves. So, they’re rolling the dice on me, in a sense, which is a lovely thing. But you’ve got to appease the studio, please the audience and do what’s dignified for you as an actor. I find all of that super challenging.

After ‘Madame Web’ massively bombed the box office, we have to say that SSU’s future is bleak as hell, ‘Kraven the Hunter’ has a unique opportunity to turn this upside down and to set a new standard for Sony’s superhero movies, just like ‘Venom’ did back when the first installment was released. ‘Kraven the Hunter’ comes to cinemas around the world on August 30, 2024.

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