While Sony ramps up momentum for its next Spider-Man franchise project via Morbius, the studio looks to build momentum on the next project slated for release. With this week bringing some big news for the upcoming film Kraven the Hunter, the lucrative superhero genre continued its often confusing celebrity mashup with the announcement that Russell Crowe, who just wrapped up filming on the set of Thor: Love and Thunder as Zeus, would be joining the cast of Kraven the Hunter in yet another Marvel role. As this official news comes out, an insider has shared that Kodi Smit-McPhee, the face behind X-Men’s Nightcrawler, turned down the chance to portray another villain in the upcoming Spider-Man spinoff.
You can see the post bringing this new rumor to light below.
Tweeted yesterday by film journalist Jeff Sneider, the talk claimed that Kodi Smit-McPhee had been in the running to play Chameleon in Kraven the Hunter, set in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. Smit-McPhee first landed a heroic role when he was cast as Nightcrawler in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. He would reprise the role again in Dark Phoenix, however, there is no news on whether the actor will play the character again. According to Sneider’s source, Smit-McPhee turned down the Chameleon role because it clashed with his existing schedule of filming commitments. We do know that Smit-McPhee is set to star in an upcoming biopic adaptation of Elvis Presley, and can’t help but wonder if this is the reason the Aussie actor turned down his second Marvel role.
Sony hasn’t officially confirmed Chameleon’s appearance in Kraven the Hunter, but given the character’s lore, it is likely he will make an appearance in the upcoming movie. As the character’s name suggests, Chameleon is a master of disguise, a shapeshifter with the ability to impersonate anyone. While similar to the famous X-Men villain, Mystique, Chameleon found his first home in the Spider-Man comics. In fact, Chameleon was the first supervillain the web-slinger ever faced. To tie in with the upcoming film, Marvel’s lore claimed Chameleon to be the half-brother to Kraven, which likely explains his rumored inclusion in the film.
While we now know the casting won’t come to fruition, the idea of re-casting actors in different Marvel roles has been seen throughout the emergence of the popular genre. Kraven the Hunter star Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the same actor that previously portrayed Pietro Maximoff /Quicksilver, another X-Men character, in The Avengers follow-up Age of Ultron. The Cap himself, Chris Evans, even portrayed another superhero before helming his most famous character. Evans appeared as the Human Torch in Fox’s two Fantastic Four movies. Similarly, Marvel newcomer Russell Crowe is already set to portray two different Marvel characters in under a year. After portraying the Greek god Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder, Crowe will play Kraven’s father in the film.
Kraven the Hunter will land in cinemas on January 13, 2023. And while we can’t expect to see the beloved X-Men star in the upcoming film, there are plenty of other opportunities for Sony or Marvel to bring Kodi Smit-McPhee back in if they want. Ramping up plans for the continued Sony Spiderverse, the studio also has plans for spin-off projects like Madame Web, and Venom 3.