There are few things more bizarrely amusing in the superhero film ecosystem, to our minds, than observing the doggedness with which Sony continues to pursue its dreams of the Spider-Man-but-there’s-no-Spider-Man-in-it cinematic universe. Necessitated by its deal to split custody of Peter Parker with Marvel—and unexpectedly buoyed by the success of last year’s Venom—Sony’s attempts to put Spidey’s various rogues and anti-heroes firmly at the front of their own semi-superheroic blockbusters was supposed to get its second big test this summer, courtesy of Jared Leto’s Morbius. Sadly, the COVID-19 lockdowns prevented us all from seeing whether audiences would flock to a sort-of-vampire movie about the guy they maybe-kinda remember from the ’90s Spider-Man cartoon, played by the forehead-tattoo-Joker guy—and so the grand experiment must persist.
Case in point: News, reported by Deadline yesterday, that Sony is now narrowing in on its efforts to find a director for its Kraven The Hunter movie. You know, Kraven The Hunter! The C-list Spider-man villain who wears an entire lion for a vest, like a sort of uber-buff Mr. Burns? Most famous for 1987's Kraven’s Last Hunt, where he beats Spidey within an inch of his life, buries him alive, then runs around in his costume before happily shooting himself in the head? (Comic books!) Is basically just sort of a guy with a gun, once you get down to it? Kraven!
Deadline reports that Triple Frontier’s J.C. Chandor is in talks to direct the film, in which Kraven will presumably hunt a whole bunch of people who are not, under any legal circumstances, Spider-Man. Chandor—whose other credits include Margin Call and A Most Violent Year—joins a whole crew of people Sony has brought in to flesh out its superhero ambitions, including S.J. Clarkson (Madame Web), Mark Guggenheim (writing the Jackpot movie), and, just this week, Olivia Wilde, who’ll be directing what’s suspected to be a Spider-Woman film. That’s to say nothing of Venom 2, or Morbius, both of which will now be released in 2021. We can’t wait to see some sort of Woody-Harrelson-in-Venom closing scene for one of those movies, too, where the credits get interrupted so we can get a glimpse of, say, Kraven’s trophy room, panning across a bunch of dead superhero masks before closing in on a shot of the Hunter’s signature lion vest. (If this actually happens, you all owe us a buck.)