Kraven the Hunter Adds Alessandro Nivola as Marvel Villain

The villain for Sony Pictures' Kraven the Hunter movie has reportedly been found, with The Many Saints of Newark star Alessandro Nivola being cast. According to Deadline, the actor will play the villain of the film, though his true identity is being kept a secret for now. Nivola joins Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is playing the titular Kraven the Hunter, Ariana DeBose, Russell Crowe, and Fred Hechinger in the film. Directing the next installment in Sony's Spider-Man Universe of movies is J.C. Chandor, with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach producing.

Alessandro Nivola played the role of Dickie Moltisanti in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel movie to HBO's The Sopranos. The film got a hybrid release, debuting on HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously. Warner Bros. chose to go with this release strategy in 2021 due to the majority of movie theaters being closed or with limited capacity during the pandemic.

West Side Story's Ariana DeBose was recently tapped to portray Calypso, a voodoo priestess who is a Spider-Man villain and former lover of Kraven. DeBose is a recent SAG Awards winner, taking home the statue for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story. She is also nominated for the BAFTA and Oscar in the same category.

Russell Crowe, who will also have a part in another Marvel movie this year (Thor: Love and Thunder), is reportedly going to play Kraven's father Nikolai Kravinoff. Kravinoff is the father of both Kraven and Chameleon, another character rumored to appear in the movie. Chameleon would make for a likely main villain, which would pit two brothers against each other. If that were the case, Nivola could be taking on that role himself.

Spider-Man writer Chris McKenna previously revealed he and his writing partner Erik Sommers have included Kraven in a draft for every script of their MCU trilogy.

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"I don't think there's been a draft of any of the Spider-Man movies where Kraven the Hunter [wasn't the villain]," McKenna said to TheWrap. "...we ended the movie, the last movie with Peter's identity being spoiled by Mysterio, and that was our jumping-off point because at least we could cling to that. That led us down different story roads that were not this story. And then, I think, I don't know if it was Kevin's idea, the idea of doing something with the other villains and teasing at the very end of this, almost in a tag, was floated."

Who do you think Alessandro Nivola's role is in Kraven the Hunter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!