J.C. Chandor, director of Triple Frontier, will helm Sony and Marvel's forthcoming film adaptation of Kraven the Hunter, the latest film to give a spotlight to a member of Spider-Man's expansive rogues gallery. The film, which has been rumored for some time, will follow in the footsteps of Venom and Morbius, although both Morbius and the Venom sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage, have seen release date delays as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has brought production and distribution fo film to a halt. There's no word yet on who might headline the movie, but Chandor -- whose last big film starred Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal, and Oscar Isaac -- is clearly comfortable giving notes to A-listers.
The story, which broke at Deadline moments ago, comes on the heels of last night's announcement that Booksmart director Olivia Wilde is expected to direct a Marvel film for Sony as well. Speculation immediately became that she would adapt the adventures of Jessica Drew, Marvel's Spider-Woman -- a character who has little real connection to Spider-Man.
In the comics, Kraven is depicted as a big game hunter without equal, who eventually turns his attention to the "most dangerous game." But this isn't just the classic notion of hunting humans, a la The Game or The Hunt. Rather, Kraven wants to take on superhumans, starting with Spider-Man.
The character's most famous story was in 1987's "Fearful Symmetry," later republished as Kraven's Last Hunt. In that story, he "kills" Spider-Man using a powerful tranquilizer and, after burying the hero, takes his place by wearing his costume to prove that, in addition to besting him one-on-one, he could have been a better superhero than Spidey was. Ultimately, after Spider-Man returns and confronts him, Kraven walks away, declaring himself the victor and believing his point has been made. By the end of the story, the villain dies by suicide, feeling that he had accomplished the biggest thing he was ever likely to in life.
In Ultimate Spider-Man, which has proven to be a significant influence on recent film adaptations, Kraven is a reality-TV host whose hunting show is flagging in the ratings, and so he decides to take on Spider-Man for the publicity.
The notion of Kraven as the central antagonist for a Spider-Man story has come up numerous times in recent years. He was rumored to be one of the villains in consideration for the never-made The Amazing Spider-Man 3, and more recently fans have speculated that, given Spider-Man's outlaw status in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we could see Kraven stepping in as a bounty hunter to try and track down the hero.
Richard Wenk, who penned The Equalizer films for Sony, wrote the script. Keep your eye on ComicBook.com for more on Kraven the Hunter as the film develops.