Spider-Man has one of the most epic rogue galleries of all superheroes. Our beloved web-slinger encountered so many iconic villains that it’s hard to name the best one. And, as it turns out, more and more of them are getting their own live-action films. The next in line is Sergei Kravinoff, aka Kraven the Hunter. But is ‘Kraven the Hunter’ a part of the MCU?
‘Kraven the Hunter’ movie is another entry into Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU), after the two Venom movies and ‘Morbius’ in 2022. However, after connections were made in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ (2021), one can consider ‘Kraven the Hunter’ (and the rest of the SSU) a part of the MCU’s larger Multiverse.
Additionally, connections between Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (again, through ‘Venom’) were made with the animated Spider-Verse recently in ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.’ So, it is safe to say that all three are a part of the same Multiverse, but ‘Kraven the Hunter’ primarily belongs to the SSU, not directly the MCU, Earth-19999 universe.
If you’re still confused, I’ll explain everything below.
Who is Kraven the Hunter?
Kraven the Hunter is an infamous supervillain from Spider-Man’s rogue gallery. Although he had also fought other superheroes, Spider-Man is his primary enemy, target, and obsession.
Born Sergei Kravinov, or Sergei Nikolaevich Kravinoff, the character was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in ‘Amazing Spider-Man #15’ in 1964, and has since appeared countless times, almost always trying to hunt down Spidey as his only motivation. In ‘Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 5 #22’, he died in the comics in 2019.
Kraven was born in Volgograd, Russia, in the early 20th century when the Russian Revolution occurred. His father was an aristocrat, but after their wealth and empire fell through, Sergei focused on his one true passion – hunting.
He became the ultimate hunter – the best in the world – and took the mantle of Kraven the Hunter. Kravinoff used his talents in Kenya, Africa, where he tried to regain his sense of high status and nobility. There was no prey in the world – no animal that Kraven could not catch or kill.
Soon, he craved more. He wanted to catch the ultimate prey, the crown of his legacy. That’s when he set his sights on Spider-Man. However, Peter Parker was simply too powerful for Kraven to handle – until the mystical Calypso gave him potions that granted Kraven the Hunter superhuman abilities.
He gained superhuman strength to lift about two tons, speed to run as fast as 60 mph (96 kph), stamina finer than the best human athlete, durability far better than humanly possible, as well as incredible agility, balance, and reflexes.
Kraven’s senses were also enhanced, seeing clearly over incredible distances and hearing even the slightest sounds, but his strongest sense is certainly his smell. It was well-trained even before the potions, but now, he could smell his prey and track it down from kilometers away. That’s why it’s almost impossible to hide from Kraven the Hunter.
We haven’t even mentioned Kraven’s unfathomable skills and abilities apart from his superpowers. He’s a weapon specialist with almost every melee weapon imaginable and long-range artillery like rifles or blow guns.
Kraven is also an expert tactician, the world’s best tracker, and he’s also quite knowledgeable in animal taming and medical departments.
What is ‘Kraven the Hunter’ movie going to be about?
‘Kraven the Hunter’ got a new trailer just recently, giving us a much better insight into what the movie will be about. The story will begin way before Spider-Man becomes his ‘prey’ of choice.
Sergei Kravinoff’s father taught him and his brother very young that they are predators, going out and hunting prey. Over the years, he was made into a villain – especially after a lion hunting incident went wrong but gave Sergei powers he couldn’t have imagined.
Kraven will venture onto a mission to prove that he is the greatest hunter in the world – and he’s not only hunting animals.
I absolutely loved the casting of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kraven because the guy is just a brilliant actor. If you’re not that familiar with his work, just watch the movie ‘Nocturnal Animals,’ where he plays the main villain of the story. The man is just amazing.
We’ll get a lot of Kraven’s backstory in the film, and numerous important characters from the comics are bound to appear, such as Calypso (Ariana DeBose) and Aleksei Sytsevich, aka The Rhino (Alessandro Nivola).
Is ‘Kraven the Hunter’ a part of the MCU?
If you asked this question before December 2021, the answer would be quite simple. I’d just say, no, ‘Kraven the Hunter’ isn’t a part of the MCU, but rather the SSU, aka Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.
The same universe includes the two (soon to be three) Venom movies, as well as the big box office flop film ‘Morbius’. Kraven would be the fourth movie within the universe, although we are yet to see Spider-Man in that particular Spider-Man universe that seems to revolve around Spidey’s rogue gallery of villains instead of the superhero himself.
However, in December 2021, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ came out in the MCU, and it absolutely shattered the limits of what is possible and what we could see in the future of the MCU after the Multiverse got wide open.
We saw Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker return with villains from that particular universe. We saw Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker and his villains return to the MCU.
And then, the post-credit scene saw Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, aka Venom from the SSU, make a brief appearance in a bar before being sucked back into his native universe – but a small part of Venom’s goo was left behind. That broke the boundaries between the MCU and SSU, making both universes a part of the same big Multiverse.
Not to mention the same thing happened in ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ – the animated movie series that’s absolutely shattering records. We saw Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and MCU references – but we also saw the main villain, Spot, venturing into the SSU and the shop from Mrs. Chen – Eddie Brock’s good friend.
When you put all that information together, you get your answer about Kraven the Hunter.
He isn’t a direct part of the MCU main universe, and he primarily belongs to Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. However, we learned already that all those universes are connected as a part of a bigger Universe, so you could say that ‘Kraven the Hunter’ is also connected to the MCU.
Who knows? Perhaps somewhere in the future, all those universes will merge into one, or Kraven the Hunter will cross over into the MCU like Deadpool and Wolverine are crossing into the MCU soon in ‘Deadpool 3’.
Right now, it seems that everything is possible.
When is Kraven the Hunter coming out?
Kraven the Hunter is currently in post-production and is expected to drop on October 6, 2023. That being said, delays are always possible, so take it with a grain of salt.
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