Aaron Taylor-Johnson Kraven The Hunter First Look Leaks

A photo of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kraven the Hunter leaks to Twitter.

By Zack Zagranis | Published

aaron taylor-johnson

A first look at Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the upcoming Kraven The Hunter movie has leaked on Twitter, and…well…it’s underwhelming, to say the least. The Marvel Legends UK Twitter account posted the picture yesterday, and the resulting comments all seemed to revolve around one thought: “Dude, where’s my lion?” Fans of the character were no doubt expecting Taylor-Johnson to be dressed in Kraven’s signature lion mane vest and were instead greeted with what one Tweeter called, “An extra from Xena Warrior Princess.”

The leaked photo shows Aaron Taylor-Johnson sporting what looks to be a leather vest with thicker leather squares sewn over the pectoral muscles and abs. It might be unfair to judge the movie’s Kraven costume based on the leaked photo. After all, it could be from a part of the movie where Kraven the Hunter is still figuring out his identity.

When looked at from that perspective, it would make sense for fans to reserve judgment until an official trailer is released. This is the internet, though, so fans are, of course, already up in arms over the very comic-book-inaccurate way Aaron Taylor-Johnson is dressed.

To be fair, the look is a far cry from the Kraven the Hunter that debuted back in 1964’s Amazing Spider-Man #15. Comic book Kraven, AKA Sergei Dimitri Symostivych Kravinoff, wears a vest made from an actual lion’s head—we’re talking the eyes and nose and everything—along with a Zebra skin belt and pants made from Chester Cheetah’s grandfather. Cheetah print pants notwithstanding, the character has a pretty wild history, as evidenced by the Kraven the Hunter Wikipedia page.

The original costume is decidedly non-PETA friendly, to say the least. Wearing a costume cobbled together from exotic animal parts in 2023 is bound to be a cancelable offense if ever there was one. If, by chance, that is the reason behind Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s faceless top, then it begs the question, why make a Kraven the Hunter movie at all?

Kraven’s whole deal is being a big game hunter—something people are wildly ridiculed for these days. Anytime a picture of a rich person on safari standing over the corpse of a rhino or zebra pops up online, the majority of comments are about how horrible the person is, how barbaric trophy hunting is, etc. Why Sony thinks audiences want to root for a guy who literally scraped the face off of a lion and made a jacket out of it is anyone’s guess.

kraven the hunter
Kraven hunting Spidey on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #294 (Marvel Comics, 1987), surrounded by his big game hunting trophies

That’s if Aaron Taylor-Johnson is even playing the “big game hunter” version of Kraven the Hunter. The actor described the character as a “conservationist” and an “animal lover.” We’re inclined to think that animal lover and “guy who cuts off a lions head and then wears it” might just be mutually exclusive identities.

If this Kraven the Hunter is more Kraven the Ecologist, then why not just make a movie about one of Spider-Man‘s villains that isn’t morally reprehensible? Why is Sony focusing on villains in general when there are plenty of other hero or anti-hero figures in the Spider-Man universe?

Sure, Venom was one thing but Morbius and Kraven are just weird choices—the former of which Sony found out about the hard way. It makes sense that Sony would want to replicate the success of the MCU by making a cinematic universe out of the characters it has exclusive access to but how a Kraven the Hunter movie got made before a Spider-Gwen or Silk movie is just mind-boggling.

And while Sony does have projects in development with those characters, it doesn’t change the fact that out of all the Spider-adjacent folks they could have led with, they chose the one that needs to be changed the most to fit in with modern sensibilities.

You can see Aaron Taylor-Johnson and his (probably) vegan leather vest for yourself on October 6, 2023, when Kraven the Hunter leaps into theaters.