May 28, 2023

During the studio’s Spider-Man presentation, Sony announced Kraven the Hunter, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is Rated R and more.

A multiversal rift is opening at CinemaCon 2023, bringing super-powered characters from Sony’s extended Spider-Verse to the stage! During the studio’s presentation, Sony gave guests more details about its animated sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-VerseKraven the Hunter, and Madame Web.

During Sony’s Spider-Man presentation, the studio revealed Kraven the Hunter is rated R. The film is an origin story depicting how Kraven became one of the greatest Marvel villains. The footage of the upcoming movie screened during the presentation showed off the ultra-violence that earned the project a mature rating. The trailer shows Kraven brutally killing poachers. He even rips the nose off a guy with his teeth. Russell Crowe plays Kraven’s father. The gore in the trailer is over-the-top, with Kraven gutting his opponents. It ends with a brief glimpse of the villain, The Rhino. The trailer hits theaters this summer.

Sony’s Kraven the Hunter stars Aaron Taylor Johnson (Bullet TrainGodzilla) as Sergei Kravinoff, Spider-Man’s number-one rival. During a chat with Variety, Taylor-Johnson said his version of the character would be a significant departure from the comics. He went on to say that he is “not an alien or a wizard. He’s just a hunter, a human with conviction.” The following description baffles some fans as Taylor-Johnson confirms that Kraven is “an animal lover and protector of the natural world in the movie.” This character trait alone goes directly against the character’s central core, as depicted in the comic books.

Ariana DeBose, Fred Hechinger, Alessandro Nivola, Christopher Abbott, and Russell Crowe also star.

Sony’s Madame Web stars Dakota Johnson as the titular character, with Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, Emma Roberts, Isabela Merced, Tahir Rahim, Mike Epps, and Adam Scott starring in the curious feature. S.J. Clarkson will direct the film based on a script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.

The project follows a clairvoyant whose psychic abilities allow her to see other’s paths along the “web of life.” In the comics, the character is traditionally depicted as an elderly blind woman suffering from a chronic neuromuscular disease that hinders her moment and respiratory functions. As a byproduct of her condition, Madame Web remains connected to a life support system that looks like a spider’s web.

Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson direct Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse from a script by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Dave Callaham. Shameik Moore (Miles Morales), Hailee Steinfeld (Gwen Stacy), Oscar Isaac (Miguel O’Hara), Jake Johnson (Peter B. Parker), Issa Rae (Jessica Drew), Brian Tyree Henry (Jefferson Davis), and Luna Lauren Velez (Rio Morales) star, with Daniel Kaluuya, Shea Whigham, Rachel Dratch, Jason Schwartzman, Jorma Taccone, and Karan Soni.

“When Miles Morales is unexpectedly approached by his best friend and love interest Gwen Stacy to complete a mission to save every universe of Spider-People from a mysterious new villain who could cause a catastrophic disaster, Miles is up for the challenge,” reads the official synopsis for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. “He and Gwen journey through the Multiverse together and meet its protectors, a group of Spider-People known as the Spider-Force. However, Miles finds himself at odds with the Spider-Force on how to handle the threat.” Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will debut on June 2, 2023, followed by Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse on March 29, 2024.

In addition to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Sony is releasing a brand-new original short film set in the Spider-Verse, titled Spider-Man: The Spider Within. The short debuts exclusively at the Annecy International Animation Festival this June following the release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The short will find Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) struggling to “balance his responsibilities as a teenager, friend and student while acting as Brooklyn’s friendly neighborhood superhero. After a particularly challenging day living with these pressures, Miles experiences a panic attack that forces him to confront the manifestations of his anxiety and learn that reaching out for help can be just as brave an act as protecting his city from evil.” The Spider-Verse short is part of Sony’s new mentorship program LENS (Leading and Empowering New Storytellers), which provides “high-potential candidates from underrepresented groups an opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience.”


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