Russell Crowe Joins The Cast Of A Spider-Man Spinoff

Russell Crowe is joining the Spider-Verse!

By Nathan Kamal | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

Russell Crowe

Actor and musician Russell Crowe is officially set to star in an upcoming Spider-Man spinoff. Sony Pictures has announced that the star of Gladiator will be in the cast of the forthcoming Kraven the Hunter project. It is just one of an entire slew of promised or presumed Spider–Man spinoff movies, as Sony maintains their years-long attempt to utilize their film rights to the Marvel superhero as broadly as possible. While it is not yet known exactly who Crowe will portray in the Kraven movie, it is likely that he will play a family member of the title character who is set to be played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. 

This would not be Russell Crowe’s first step into superhero movies. He played Superman’s Kryptonian father Jor-El in Zack Snyder’s 2013 film Man of Steel. The role had previously been memorably played by a silver-haired Marlon Brando in the original 1978 Superman, and Snyder’s film essentially acted as the first step in Warner Bros’ current DCEU continuity. Crowe is also set to play Zeus, the father of Olympian gods in Taika Waititi’s next MCU film, Thor: Love and Thunder. While he is presumably in competition with Arnold Schwarzenegger for 2022’s best portrayal of the best Greek father-deity, Crowe has appeared in a wide range of film projects over his career. He first came to Hollywood prominence in the neo-noir film L.A. Confidential, following it with acclaimed turns in The Insider, Gladiator and ultimately winning an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind. Since then, he has jumped between period pieces like Cinderella Man, costume dramas like Robin Hood and even a musical turn in ​​Les Misérables. If anything, it’s surprising that it took him this long to get to a Spider-Man property. 

Although Sony currently co-produces Spider-Man proper films with Disney’s Marvel Studios, the studio has been doing everything that it can to build their own cinematic Spider-Man adjacent universe. The success of two Tom Hardy-starring Venom films seems to have built their confidence that audiences are on board for such projects. Aside from the Russell Crowe and Aaron Taylor-Johnson Kraven the Hunter, there are rumors swirling about a possible Felicia Hardy/Black Cat film starring Jennifer Lawrence or Anya Taylor-Joy, and a Madame Web movie with Dakota Johnson. That’s not even counting the upcoming Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) and the much-delayed Jared Leto as living vampire vehicle Morbius. That’s a lot of Spider-Man sans Peter Parker. 

kraven the hunter

Details are still relatively scarce about Kraven the Hunter, although it feels likely that Russell Crowe will play a mentor or father figure to the antihero. J.C. Chandor is set to direct, and has been transitioning from his early work in austere dramas like All is Lost and A Most Violent Year to more action-filled movies. Fortunately, Kraven the Hunter has literal decades of storylines in Spider-Man comics to pick a storyline from, including the much-praised 1980s arc Kraven’s Last Hunt.  We will just have to wait and see what details come out on this, and the many, many other Spider-Man spinoffs.