By changing Sergei Kravinoff’s origin story from Marvel Comics, Kraven the Hunter will also change the backstories of several other prominent Spider-Man-related characters. The first trailer for Kraven the Hunter released on June 19, 2023, providing the first look at Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s titular antihero who is adapted from the Marvel Comics villain. Taking place within the Sony Spider-Man Universe (SSU) alongside Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and Morbius, Kraven the Hunter is set to make some major changes to Kraven’s origin story from Marvel Comics, which will have a huge impact on several other characters, both in Kraven the Hunter and the SSU as a whole.

Kraven the Hunter will mark Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s debut in the SSU, though he has previously portrayed Dave Lizewski, a.k.a. Kick-Ass, in Kick-Ass and its 2013 sequel, and Pietro Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver, in Avengers: Age of Ultron, both characters also adapted from Marvel Comics. In Kraven the Hunter, Taylor-Johnson will bring the infamous Spider-Man villain to life in live-action for the first time. After being introduced in Marvel Comics’ 1964 story, The Amazing Spider-Man #15, Kraven the Hunter went on to become one of the web-slinger’s most recognizable and long-lasting villains, though Kraven the Hunter will make many changes to his and other characters’ backstories, thanks to its present day setting.

6 Sergei Kravinoff, A.K.A. Kraven The Hunter

Sergei Kravinoff was introduced to Marvel Comics as a Russian immigrant in the United States, the son of an aristocrat who fled Russia after 1917’s February Revolution and the fall of Tsar Nicholas II. During his first appearance, Kravinoff, who goes by the moniker Kraven the Hunter, referred to Spider-Man as “the most dangerous game,” and has since devoted his life to hunting the web-slinger to prove he’s the greatest hunter. This backstory will need to be significantly changed in Kraven the Hunter, as the film is set to take place in the present day rather than the early 20th Century, and Spider-Man hasn’t yet been introduced to the SSU.

Another huge chance that has been made to Kraven’s character in the upcoming 2023 film is that he actually has superpowers. In Marvel Comics, Kraven regularly injects himself with a mystical potion made from a combination of jungle herbs, gifting him enhanced physical attributes and a slowed aging process. However, Kraven the Hunter’s first trailer revealed that Taylor-Johnson’s Kravinoff gains his powers after being bitten by a lion and exposed to the predator’s blood. This gives him animalistic traits, and allows him to become a brutal hunter, but is a massive diversion from the more clinical creation of powers in Marvel Comics.

5 Dmitri Smerdyakov, A.K.A. Chameleon

Fred Hechinger is set to debut in Kraven the Hunter as Dmitri Smerdyakov, the Spider-Man villain known as the Chameleon. Smerdyakov is Kraven’s half-brother, so the pair’s origin stories are very closely connected. This means that, since Kraven’s backstory will be changing drastically, so must Smerdyakov’s. The Chameleon was actually the first-ever adversary to Spider-Man in Marvel Comics, introduced in 1963’s The Amazing Spider-Man #1, and is usually depicted as a master of disguise, renowned for his ability to impersonate almost anybody. He originally managed this using a microcomputer belt buckle, but these powers later became innate, with Smerdyakov being mutagenically altered with a serum.

In Marvel Comics, Smerdyakov and Kravinoff grew up together, though the latter was often abusive towards his younger half-brother, leading to a life-long resentment between the pair. In Kraven the Hunter, it appears as though a similar story will be told, as the brothers can be seen as teenagers in Kraven the Hunter’s trailer. It seems that most of the pair’s early life will be changed for Kraven the Hunter, taking place in a more modern era, though it’s unclear exactly how – or even if – Smerdyakov will gain his abilities and embrace his identity as the Chameleon, and he certainly won’t be battling Spider-Man in Kraven the Hunter.

4 Gustav Fiers, A.K.A. The Gentleman

Although Gustav Fiers hasn’t been confirmed to be making an appearance in the SSU’s Kraven the Hunter, the character would be a perfect fit thanks to his connection to Dmitri Smerdyakov and Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man. Fiers, often referred to as the Gentleman, was introduced in a trilogy of Spider-Man novels written by Adam-Troy Castro before debuting in Marvel Comics in 2016’s Civil War II event. During his youth, Smerdyakov became an associate of the Gentleman because of the latter’s obsession with Spider-Man. However, if this is to happen in the Sony Spider-Man Universe, Fiers’ backstory will need to be altered massively.

In Marvel Comics, the Gentleman believed himself to be a superior man, which made sense considering he had dealings with the Red Skull during World War II, who also shared the same beliefs about himself. Fiers’ connection to the Red Skull wouldn’t be able to be included in Kraven the Hunter’s present day setting, and his obsession with Spider-Man would perhaps need to be eliminated as the web-slinger hasn’t been introduced to the SSU yet. Even so, in the Spider-Man novels, Richard and Mary Parker, Spider-Man’s parents, worked as double agents with Fiers’ organization, and this is a connection that could still be established in the SSU.

3 The Foreigner

The Foreigner is expected to be featured as the primary antagonist of Kraven the Hunter, portrayed by Christopher Abbott. One of Spider-Man’s most mysterious and enigmatic villains, the Foreigner is a highly-intelligent mercenary and assassin who became a long-time foe to the web-slinger in Marvel Comics. While Kraven the Hunter’s depiction of the character is still shrouded in mystery, several aspects of his backstory will need to be drastically altered for his first live-action appearance. Most notably, the Foreigner was revealed to have previously been married to Silver Sable, an antihero associated with Spider-Man in Marvel Comics.

Silver Sable is very unlikely to be making an appearance in Kraven the Hunter, though it’s possible that she could be mentioned if her marriage to the Foreigner is included in the film. In Marvel Comics, however, Silver Sable’s father was revealed to be a prominent Nazi hunter who worked alongside Wolverine – then known as “the Canadian”. The Foreigner was also romantically involved with Spider-Man’s ex-lover Black Cat in Marvel Comics, so it seems most of his backstory will likely be omitted from 2023’s Kraven the Hunter, as he is intimately connected to several characters that have shown no signs of being involved in the upcoming project.

2 Aleksei Sytsevich, A.K.A. Rhino

After previously being portrayed by Paul Giamatti in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Aleksei Sytsevich is set to make a more substantial appearance in Kraven the Hunter, now played by Alessandro Nivola. He’s not the only character being recast for Kraven the Hunter, as Dmitri Smerdyakov was featured in Spider-Man: Far From Home, though only in a very minor role. Sytsevich’s introduction in Kraven the Hunter is exciting, as he is set to become a more comic-accurate version of the Rhino, at least physically, though much of the Rhino’s origin story in Kraven the Hunter has seemingly been changed from the Marvel Comics source material.

In Marvel Comics, Sytsevich was a dim-witted member of the Russian mafia before he was forced to undergo a series of life-threatening chemical and radiation treatments that gifted him superhuman strength and a powerful exoskeleton in the form of a rhinoceros. Kraven the Hunter’s first trailer seems to depict a very different version of Sytsevich, one who seems to be voluntarily subjecting himself to these experiments to transform naturally into the Rhino. Nivola’s depiction of Sytsevich also appears to be the genius behind the experiment, meaning Kraven the Hunter could combine brains and brawn for its Rhino, creating a formidable enemy for Kravinoff, and potentially Spider-Man in the future.

1 Kraven The Hunter’s Children

In Marvel Comics, Sergei Kravinoff fathered several children, who each grew up to be formidable fighters akin to their father. It seems that Kraven’s children will be omitted from Kraven the Hunter, however, as the film will presumably be taking place early in Kraven’s life. Even so, Kraven’s children are pivotal to his character development in Marvel Comics, so it will be a shame to lose their influence. This is especially true as each is a remarkable fighter and adversary to Spider-Man and other heroes. It’s possible they could be included in future Sony Spider-Man Universe projects, though it’s unclear what stories will be told after Kraven the Hunter.

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Kraven the Hunter

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Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse

 Kraven the Hunter changes Kravinoff’s origin story.  Read More