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Aaron Taylor-Johnson Unleashes Savage Fury in Sony’s R-Rated ‘Kraven the Hunter’ Trailer

2023 seems to be the year of Kraven the Hunter. Not only is he causing havoc as one of the central villainous figures in Insomniac’s highly anticipated sequel to Marvel’s Spider-man on PS5, but he’s also taking the spotlight in this year’s Kraven the Huntermovie, which recently received a gory new debut trailer.

Sony seems to be pulling back no punches with Kraven the Hunter, which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the titular character. Unlike Venom or Morbius, the Kraven movie has opted for a darker, more violent, and gory narrative that delves deep into Kraven’s tumultuous past, marked by deep-rooted daddy issues and a relentless pursuit of alpha dominance. 

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Kraven the Hunter trailer
Image: Sony

It will also be the first Sony-produced Marvel film to have an R-rating, marking a significant departure from prior releases. The new trailer is loaded with plenty of blood-socked action, unapologetic violence, and raw brutality, which Kraven the Hunter is known for. The movie is being billed as a villain origin story and will be “set before his notorious vendetta with Spiderman.”

In the new trailer, we get a glimpse of Kraven’s troubled childhood, showcasing how his father’s so-called “hunter” mindset and extreme ruthlessness turned him into who he is. The clip opens with Russell Crowe, who portrays Kraven’s brutal father, teaching life lessons to Sergei Kravinoff, aka Kraven, saying, “My son, they are prey, we are predators.” His dialogue is perfectly paired with the shot of Kraven, showcasing his immense strength as he effortlessly rips a door from a van using only his bare hands.

Following that, the trailer cuts to Kraven’s earlier years, where we witness Crowe’s character breaking the tragic news of their mother’s passing to a young Kraven, portrayed by Levi Miller and his half-brother. However, rather than displaying grief or compassion, Crowe’s character callously attributes her death to her perceived weakness.

Kraven the Hunter trailer
Image: Sony

The narrative takes a thrilling turn when Kraven gets shredded by a brutal lion during a hunting expedition with his family. Despite getting ripped apart, he survives the attack, and we see the lion’s blood getting mixed with his own, granting Kraven extraordinary superhuman strength and unparalleled tracking abilities. “I stared death in the face, and for the first time, I saw my true self,” says Kraven in the trailer.

The trailer features some pretty intense and visceral action sequences, including a gripping moment where Kraven single-handedly incapacitates a group of men in a truck, utilizing his sheer strength and even sinking his teeth into one man’s flesh before spitting it out. But who exactly is Kraven fighting? In Kraven’s own words, he declares, “My father inflicts evil into the world. I am here to eradicate it.” The trailer concludes with a tease of Alessandro Nivola as the Rhino, who in his chilly voice taunts, “Don’t you want to know why they call me the Rhino?” as he injects himself with a serum, triggering a transformation that morphs his skin into the impervious hide of a hoofed mammal.

Kraven the Hunter trailer
Image: Sony

During this year’s CinemaCon, Taylor-Johnson shared a bit about the forthcoming film and its faithfulness to the comics, saying, “Kraven the Hunter is a Marvel movie grounded heavily in the real world. And anyone who is familiar with the comics and the character of Kraven, they know that he’s a fierce hunter with the skill of a highly trained killer. So, I figure now’s a good time to answer the Internet’s biggest question about the film. Will it be rated R? Fuck yes it’s going to be rated R.”

Kraven the Hunter is directed by J.C. Chandor, with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach producing. Art Marcum, Matt Holloway and Richard Wenk wrote the screenplay. Besides Taylor-Johnson and Crowe, Fred Hechinger stars as The Chameleon, Kraven’s half-brother, while Ariana DeBose plays Kraven’s love interest, the voodoo priestess Calypso.

Kraven the Hunter hits big screens on October 6.

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