Kraven the Hunter: Sony Boss Had to Look Up Aaron Taylor-Johnson Before Casting

Sony executive Sanford Panitch had to Google Aaron Taylor-Johnson before signing off on him being Kraven The Hunter. In a new Variety report, the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group president got asked by David Leitch and Brad Pitt. Bullet Train was a delight and that performance really powered his bid for the character. Panitch did a little digging and liked what he saw. The Internet was beside itself this week when Taylor-Johnson's casting came down. The former Quicksilver actor is no stranger to the hero racket as he appeared in both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Kick-Ass. But, this time, there's a feeling that things could be wildly different. The Sony Spider-Verse is in an interesting position because it's not explicitly crossed over with the MCU proper yet. A lot of people think that Spider-Man: No Way Home might be hinting at that line being blurred even further. Only time will tell.

"It was a 'I had to look him up' kind of thing," Panitch tells Variety. "I didn't have a lot of familiarity. And then we start watching these incredible dailies [from 'Bullet Train'], and you really see the full-on action star. He's charming and he's funny and he's holding his own against Brad Pitt. A lot of people can't do that."

In some previous comments with DiscussingFilm, writer Richard Wenk talked about the task ahead with Kraven. It seems as though things are still early, but the team really loves the momentum so far.

"I'm just starting it. It's an interesting world. A great character," Wenk explained. "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. I'm just beginning it, beginning the process, and because it's a big IP, Marvel world, there's lots of hurdles to overcome before you can start writing, to crack the right story and to get the right tone. It's a new world for me. But what's nice about it is it's a very grounded character, he doesn't have a lot of crazy superpowers and things like that so he's more grounded and that fits what I like to do. That's as much as I know."

Kraven the Hunter is planning for a release on January 13, 2023, and Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters this December.

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