Aaron Taylor-Johnson Cast as Major Spider-Man Villain

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is once again taking on a big comic book role, having now been cast as a major Spider-Man villain. According to Sony, Taylor-Johnson will star as Kraven the Hunter in the company's Marvel film about the big-game hunter. The film will be directed by J.C. Chandor (Triple Frontier), from a script by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man, Punisher: War Zone), and it is set to open on Jan. 13, 2023.

"One of Sony Pictures' universe of Marvel characters," the press release explains, "Kraven is one of Marvel's most iconic and notorious antiheroes, who has encountered Venom and Black Panther, among many others, as well as being one of Spider-Man's best known and most formidable enemies." There is no denying that Kraven comes with some problematic elements, being a character who traditionally hunts and murders animals for sport, but his image has also been somewhat renovated over the years. More recently he has been shown to be an honorable, albeit egotistical, ally to Spider-Man, and even Marvel's Squirrel Girl, who was previously set to get her own TV series before the plans were scrapped.

This is not Taylor-Johnson's first time portraying a comic character in a live-action film, as he has done it on multiple occasions in the past. This isn't even his first time portraying a Marvel character, as he played Pietro Maximoff — also known as Quicksilver — in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Pietro was the brother of Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff, The Scarlet Witch. He was killed trying to help the Avengers save the citizens of Sokovia from Ultron.

Maybe Taylor-Johnson's most notable comic book role, however, was as Kick-Ass in the 2-part film series about the indie comic hero. In the films, Taylor-Johnson played Dave Lizewski, a nerdy teen who chose to fight back against bullies and evil-doers as a powerless vigilante he dubbed Kick-Ass. The series also co-starred Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Mark Strong, Nicolas Cage, and Jim Carrey.

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Most recently, Taylor-Johnson appeared opposite John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in the Christopher Nolan film Tenet. The movie also featured Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. Next up, fans will be able to catch Taylor-Johnson in The King's Man, a prequel to the Kingsman series, which reteams him with his Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn. The film is currently scheduled to be released on Dec. 22, 2021.