Russell Crowe is signing on to join Sony's upcoming Spider-Man spinoff movie Kraven the Hunter. There are no details right now on who Crowe would play in the film; the titular role of Kraven will be played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), who was announced for the project last summer. J.C. Chandor (Triple Frontier, A Most Violent Year) from a script by Matt Holloway (Iron Man).
This casting may be a good indication that recent rumors of Kraven the Hunter soon starting production are accurate. Those reports pointed to the film starting to shoot in the UK in mid-to-late-February or March. Sounds like we'll soon know more about which role Crowe is taking on in Sony's Spider-Man Universe.
Kraven will be the third Spider-Man spinoff franchise Sony puts into theaters Tom Hardy's Venom is well-established, and Jared Leto's Morbius has a fair amount of buzz behind it, already. Fans were already excited about Aaron Taylor-Johnson stepping in to play Kraven – with Crowe's casting, Kraven the Hunter will now be generating mainstream interest.
This won't be the first time Russell Crowe steps into a Marvel Comic movie; he's already shot the upcoming MCU sequel Thor: Love and Thunder for Taika Waititi, in which he'll play the role of Zeus. Crowe also has an iconic role in the DC Movie Universe, where he played Superman's father, Jor-El, in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. That's all to say: it'll be interesting to see how substantial of a role Crowe takes on in Kraven the Hunter.
Spider-Man: No Way Home writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers recently confirmed that Kraven was originally the villain of that film until Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios hatched the big Spider-Man Multiverse crossover story:
"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."
Kraven was indeed teased in Spider-Man: No Way Home's big villain silhouettes teaser scene, but fans are still eager to get that first official look at Aaron Taylor-Johnson's version of the character.
Kraven the Hunter will be in theaters on January 13, 2023.