Ever since licensing rights have been the focus of what Marvel characters will finally join the MCU, Kraven the Hunter has been a topic of wishful conversation. Of course, Sony Pictures is holding on to Marvel properties because Sony likes cash cows. That’s why the Spider-Verse featuring Tom Holland’s Home trilogy and Tom Hardy’s Venom appearances have been so entertaining. Deadline reported that although it’s unconfirmed, people are willing to bet their mortgages that Ariana Debose, the SAG-winning Best Supporting Actress for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, will be in the movie as the voodoo priestess Calypso.
With Morbius and Across the Spider-Verse, Part One, fans everywhere are willing to allow Sony Picture to ride this out until the wheels fall off. Then, they announced that Kraven the Hunter, one of the baddest anti-heroes to ever land on a comic book page, cinephiles went wild. To Sony’s credit, they effectively managed the slow burn until January 2022.
- Aaron Taylor-Johnson will be featured in the titular role
- Fred Hechinger will portray the baddie, Chameleon
- Russell Crowe has been cast, but no one knows for what
- J.C. Chandor will be directing the film
- Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Richard Wenk are writing the script
DeBose has been on a hot streak of prosperity lately, becoming the first Latina to win a SAG and the first queer woman of color to be recognized by the Screen Actors’ Guild during the 28th annual event. “It’s indicative that doors are opening,” DeBose told reporters in the virtual backstage media room. “It’s an honor to an Afro Latina queer woman of color and a dancer and a singer and an actor.”
And now, she’s about to get paid. Sure, she made a memorable trip to her piggy bank with West Side Story, and that barely made it play called Hamilton. However, as Sony Pictures can tell you, starring in a Marvel movie is one payday you’ll never forget.
However, DeBose was cast for Kraven the Hunter not because of her ability to dance and sing. Her ability to absorb the emotion of a role is precisely what Calypso Ezili needs. In canon, the voodoo high priestess is from Haiti and rather enjoys poking the bear—or lion, as the case may be. She enjoys getting her part-time partner and lover frazzled to wreak havoc on Spider-Man’s world. And in her free time, she fancies herself as a witch with her potions, psychic, and friendly neighborhood necromancer.
This role requires a multifaceted understanding of different cultures and doing it convincingly. Even Spielberg noted her “tremendous personal charisma,” which is proof she has skills that can’t be taught. That visceral emotion is necessary for Calypso because Kraven pushes her to the brink. Also, this role requires someone who looks like she’s up to something without even saying a word. Check her roles out because her body language and facial expressions are just as effective as dancing and reading a script.
Before she takes center stage in the jungle with Kraven, she is part of a star-studded cast for the anticipated spy thriller from Matthew Vaughn, Argylle. The Apple TV+ movie stars Henry Cavill, John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, and Samuel L. Jackson. Shooting for Argylle begins later this year.