Karl Urban To Play Kraven After Keanu Reeves:
It’s no news that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe desperately want Keanu Reeves to on-board. And as of recently, Reeves has been approached by Sony Pictures, a role to lead the solo spin-off Kraven. Part of the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters home to Tom Hardy’s Venom and Jared Leto’s Morbius, Kraven is described as a “mashup” between R-rated action-dramas Man on Fire and Logan. If Reeves was to accept the offer, it would end the studio’s years-long hunt for its Sergei Kravinoff and would mark the Matrix and John Wick franchise star’s first superhero movie role since portraying DC’s John Constantine in 2005’s Constantine.
Sony has made an “official offer” to Reeves, but the starring role in Kraven is not a done deal, according to a report from The Illuminerdi. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, a creative lead and producer on Sony’s rebooted Spider-Man franchise set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has previously said, “I don’t know when, if, or ever he’ll join the MCU, but we very much want to figure out the right way to do it,” Feige said of Reeves in the 2019 interview. Feige added Jake Gyllenhaal was approached “multiple times” before signing on as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Recent rumors claimed Disney-owned Marvel Studios was eyeing Reeves to lead Moon Knight as Marc Spector, a role ultimately filled by Oscar Isaac in the upcoming Disney+ series. Reeves previously told Buzzfeed he “always wanted to play” Wolverine, the metal-clawed mutant from the X-Men franchise who has yet to appear in the MCU. When Variety asked then-Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch about the rumored Kraven movie, Panitch said, “He’s an awesome character. Let’s just leave it at that.” Last February, a reported casting grid revealed by The Illuminerdi described Kraven as a “maniacal big game hunter” specifically on the hunt for Spider-Man.
But there is an interesting twist, and it’s real. Fans want Karl Urban to play Kraven the Hunter. After roles in the big-screen Star Trek reboot and Dredd, Urban joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Asgardian Skurge the Executioner in Thor: Ragnarok. Now starring as smug Supes-hater Billy Butcher in Amazon’s mature superhero satire The Boys, Urban became a trending topic on Twitter amid word the Spider-Man studio officially submitted the offer to Reeves. According to the report, Sony has not reached a deal with the Matrix and John Wick franchise star.
When The Equalizer writer Richard Wenk signed on to script Kraven in 2018, Wenk told DiscussingFilm the spin-off would “adhere very closely to the lore” of the Sinister Six villain who would “come face to face with Spider-Man.” Describing Kraven as a “very grounded character,” Wenk said the studio was circling Kraven’s Last Hunt, the character’s most famous storyline, and was determining “whether this is the precursor to that movie or will include it.”
“It’s all in the mix, everybody is excited about it because everybody wants to make the right movie and the classic movie, and nobody’s rushing to churn out some character movie because it’s part of that world,” Wenk said at the time. “It’s nice to see everybody hunker down and say, ‘What is the right movie to tell?’ It’s an origin story, obviously, so it’ll be the first time people will see Kraven and not the last, but it will be the first one. You just throw everything up on the wall and see the right movie to tell.”
Spider-Man director Jon Watts, who returns for the untitled Homecoming 3, previously revealed he “would love” to pit Tom Holland’s Spider-Man against Kraven the hunter. Black Panther filmmaker Ryan Coogler also wished to use the character before learning Sony, not Disney-owned Marvel Studios, holds Kraven’s screen rights. In August, Sony tapped A Most Violent Year and Triple Frontier director J.C. Chandor for Kraven. That same month, some suspected Kraven might be the villain of Homecoming 3 when it was reported that Sony was on the hunt for a “Joel Kinnaman-type” actor for an undisclosed role.
Here’s what people on Twitter have to say about this decision:
I like that pick for Kraven. Mine is Karl Urban. pic.twitter.com/j5mMcT09Sm
— Essential Jacob (@Jacobderrick6) February 8, 2021
Love Keanu but Karl Urban would be spot on as Kraven https://t.co/fTwo7Xz8CS
— Grae (@I_am_grae) February 8, 2021
I don't necessarily hate this, but I feel they could do better. I'd love to see Karl Urban from The Boys with this role. https://t.co/u146BYlhuf
— Great Shinobi – Owl (@gh0ulface) February 8, 2021
Listen I love Keanu Reeves but Karl Urban would be an excellent choice to play Kraven and I’m prepared to die alone on this hill pic.twitter.com/nMM0zFo9FL
— Nerd Girl Says (@Rachael_Conrad) February 8, 2021
Sony’s next releases Venom: Let There Be Carnage, planned to open in theaters on June 25, followed by the untitled Spider-Man 3 co-produced with Marvel Studios on December 17. Morbius, which features the return of Michael Keaton’s Spider-Man: Homecoming villain Adrian Toomes, is now set for January 21, 2022.