Kraven the Hunter should be the villain of Marvel Studios and Sony's Spider-Man 3. The two studios joined forces in 2015 to reboot the popular Marvel hero after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failed to launch the cinematic universe that Sony was hoping for. When that didn't happen, Sony and Marvel quickly worked together to cast Tom Holland as the latest version of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man, and it wasn't too long until he started filming his brief role in Captain America: Civil War. In addition to Spider-Man's appearances in larger MCU event films like Civil War or the last two Avengers films, Marvel and Sony also restarted his solo franchise.
Spider-Man: Homecoming hit theaters in the summer of 2017 and injected the friendly neighborhood hero with a John Hughes-like tone. It was here that Spidey faced his first legitimate villain in Adrian Toomes aka Vulture (Michael Keaton), but after defeating him and fighting Thanos not too long after, his sequel gave him a new challenge. Quentin Beck aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) was selected as the villain of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which was played as a twist to audiences and came as a shock to Peter in the film.
Between Mysterio and Vulture, Marvel Studios has made two great villains in the franchise but also gave both of them their big-screen debuts. This was not done by accident either, as many of the people involved with the new Spider-Man franchise have stated their interests in showing off more of Spidey's rogue's gallery instead of relying on villains who have already been on the big screen. Thanks to his fan-favorite status and Spider-Man: Far From Home's ending, the villain of Spider-Man 3 should be an easy choice: Kraven the Hunter.
Who Is Kraven The Hunter?
Sergei Kravinoff, better known as Kraven the Hunter, made his debut in Marvel Comics back in 1964. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and he was the central villain in The Amazing Spider-Man #15. Kraven is a legendary Russian hunter who's known for going after the biggest game possible. He's put on Spider-Man's trail as the ultimate test of his abilities. Kraven has increased speed, stamina, strength, reflexes, and senses thanks to a special potion. Because of these skills, Kraven prefers to operate with simple, old-fashion weapons instead of utilizing rifles. Despite his physical abilities, though, Kraven is often defeated by Spider-Man in the comics, which turned him onto the idea of team-ups; that's how Kraven got involved with the Sinister Six.
However, one of Kraven's most iconic runs in Marvel Comics is Kraven's Last Hunt. The six-part story centers on an aged Kraven who is ready to die, but not without proving his ability once more. He tracks down Spider-Man and appears to kill him, when in reality, Peter was heavily drugged and buried alive in a coffin. While Peter is out cold, Kraven sets out to show that Spider-Man is no better than he is by posing as the wall-crawler. As Spider-Man, Kraven fights crime in his own way and defeats Vermin, a foe that Peter couldn't previously defeat on his own, proving that he is just as capable. What he misses, though, is that it is Peter's moral code that makes him the real Spider-Man. In the end, Peter escapes from the coffin and Kraven admits his part in all of the crimes before killing himself. This story itself would take years to build up to for a direct adaptation in the MCU, but Kraven is still a great choice for Spider-Man 3's main foe.
Why Kraven Would Be A Good Movie Villain
One of the best parts to Kraven and his potential interest in Spider-Man is how simple of a story it can be. While Spider-Man: Far From Home went bigger and broader than any Spider-Man film before it, Kraven gives Spider-Man 3 the chance to scale back the story to something much more personal. Kraven hunting down Spider-Man makes the plot a man vs man story. Kraven is a relentless hunter and would push Spider-Man to his limits like never before as he tried to escape his clutches. This would ultimately make their fight dependent on the drive and determination of the individuals, even more so than their respective abilities.
The simplicity of Kraven doesn't stop there either, as his natural hunting and fighting style also means he is a man without technological advantages; he is just a man on a mission, with his brain and brawn to get the job done. This would be a great change of pace for the MCU Spider-Man franchise. As fantastic as foes like Vulture and Mysterio are, the threats they pose are products of advanced technology connected to previous MCU events. Kraven does not need alien or Stark tech to be a formidable opponent for Spider-Man, making him an even tougher force for Peter to face.
But, his resourcefulness could also mean that Peter has to ditch any suit that could be trackable. This could scale back his suit's abilities to really make a fight between him and Kraven about willpower and not who has better tech. Peter relying on his own abilities and intellect is something that has slightly been lost in his more recent appearances, too. Furthermore, it would mean Peter having to leave behind the advantages that came from his relationship with Tony Stark, making his entire survival only possible for what he can do.
This would all be great, but possibly the best reason for Marvel and Sony to use Kraven is that he hasn't been done before in the movies. Just as they were able to introduce mainstream audiences to who Vulture and Mysterio are, they would be able to do the same here. Kraven does not have the baggage of comparison to past interpretations, which is something that will inevitably arise if/when Doc Ock or Norman Osborn are used in the MCU. Simply put, the MCU's version of Kraven will be the definitive version of the character to many, so they can keep his comic roots intact but update him in ways they deem fit.
How Kraven Fits Into A Post-Far From Home MCU
Kraven is the perfect fit for Spider-Man's next antagonist after the ending of Spider-Man: Far From Home. The Spider-Man: Far From Home credits scene showed The Daily Bugle publishing a video recorded by Mysterio that frames Spider-Man as a villain and outs Peter Parker as the man behind the mask. The shocking revelation will make Spider-Man a person of interest in general, but also someone that plenty of other groups or individuals may take a special interest in capturing. There could even be a bounty placed on his head because of the death and destruction he supposedly is responsible for.
In either case, Kraven is the man for the job to find and/or kill Spider-Man. Spider-Man 3 could show how Kraven is hired by an interested party to capture Spider-Man or to kill him because of what he has done. With the simpler approach of Kraven, it could give Spider-Man 3 smaller and more personal stakes. Instead of trying to save the world or his neighborhood, Peter will have to try and save himself and those that he loves. This could even give the trilogy capper a way to keep the villain count lower than the last two entries unless they want to use Kraven and the hunt for Spider-Man to plant more seeds for the future.
Spider-Man: Far From Home may have set up that Norman Osborn now owns the old Avengers Tower and many are hoping that he'll appear in the third film too. Norman could be set up as a wealthy businessman ready to do whatever it takes to bring Spider-Man down and rid New York (and the world) of this menace. He can hire Kraven specifically or simply offer up a reward for Spider-Man's capture/death that Kraven and other hunters could vie for. Previously introduced Spider-Man foes like Vulture, Scorpion, Shocker, and maybe even Prowler could all set out to take down Spidey, but Kraven's training in this area would make him the ultimate threat and why he would be the one to get most of the focus.
Of course, when none of them are ultimately successful in capturing the web-slinger, Kraven and his fellow villains could eye a team-up to get the job done and form the Sinister Six. Even if the set up is less direct than this, Sinister Six is believed to be something the MCU and Sony want to do. Director Jon Watts even has said he wants Kraven to be the next villain. So, introducing Kraven, a fundamental member of the team, would allow Spider-Man 3 to do just that and feature a great villain all on his own.