With Ryan Coogler's Black Panther taking the box office by storm, the director reveals that he originally wanted Kraven the Hunter to cameo in the 18th Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
After appearing in 2016's Captain American: Civil War, Chadwick Boseman is suiting up for first solo adventure in Black Panther. With a huge cast of actors including Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, and Lupita Nyong'o, it is a massive step forward for actors of color in superhero movies. Fans get to see the titular T'Challa go head to claw with a variety of bad guys - but with villains like Jordan's Erik Killmonger and Andy Serkis' Ulysses Klaue already taking up plenty of screen time, would there even have been any room for Kraven the Hunter?
Speaking to Yahoo! Movies, Coogler revealed his aspirations to have the notorious Spider-Man foe play a part in his movie:
“I’ve always loved Kraven the Hunter in almost every iteration. So there was a moment – ‘Can I grab Kraven?’ – and they were ‘Nah, you don’t have Kraven.’ He was one where I thought ‘Oh, man.’ But I don’t even know if he would have worked in the movie we ended up with, this was the early days.”
Deep in the heart of Wakanda and exploring the first African superhero to break into mainstream comics, Coogler also revealed what drew him to the fine physique of Kraven in the first place:
“Being a Marvel fan, you want to grab all the characters. You realise there’s contractual things. You don’t have that character. There was a Christopher Priest run that was pretty heavy, there’s a big scene where Panther’s fighting Kraven, Kraven the Hunter.”
For those who don't know, Kraven the Hunter was first introduced back in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 from 1964. Best-known as a Spider-Man villain, Kraven's MO is to go after superheroes with animal names and mount their heads on his wall. Black Panther certainly fits neatly into the category, while the jungle setting of Wakanda seems like the perfect habitat for Kraven to be sharpening his knives and reloading his shotgun. Even if Kraven had only popped up in one of Black Panther's post-credits scenes to set up a sequel of an inclusion in Phase 4's Spider-Man: Homecoming 2, it would've been great fan service to the beloved character. However, it just wasn't meant to be.
Over the years, there have been many dream castings for Kraven, while stars like Jeffrey Dean Morgan or Javier Barden would be perfect additions to the MCU as the muscular madman. That being said, the bloodthirsty Spider-Man villain may be more suited to Sony's villainverse which is focussing on the darker side of the friendly neighborhood hero. The Sony/Disney deal may have been lucrative to give the House of Mouse Peter Parker for Civil War, Homecoming, and his future solo movies, but it is easy to forget that Kevin Feige and co. don't own all of the Spider-Man universe (yet).
The end of Homecoming may have loosely set up its own origins for a Sinister Six movie, but it looks like Sony will still power through with its plans to bring the notorious team of supervillains to our screens alongside Kraven and Mysterio movies. As for Kraven, he could just as easily hold his own like the upcoming Venom or Silver & Black. J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck's Kraven's Last Hunt storyline from 1987 is one of the most critically-acclaimed Spider-Man storylines of all time and seems ripe for development into its own standalone feature. Here's hoping that Sony has that idea firmly in its crosshairs for the near future. In the meantime though, it looks like fandom and Coogler will have to chalk Kraven's Black Panther absence to a missed opportunity.
Source: Yahoo! Movies
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019