‘Kraven’: Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s ‘Spider-Man’ Spinoff Will Be R-Rated

The idea of an R-rated superhero film is interesting. Some comic books are published as adults only and are filled with nudity, cursing, and extreme violence. However, most mainstream superhero comic books, especially from Marvel and DC, are definitely PG-13-equivalent. So, even though Deadpool says “fuck” and does horrible violent things in the films, his comic book source material isn’t nearly as raunchy. All this to say, the idea that Sony is making “Kraven the Hunter,” one of the studio’s various “Spider-Man” spinoff films, R-rated is… a choice. 

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According to yesterday’s CinemaCon panel, Sony announced that the upcoming “Kraven the Hunter,” starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the title character, will be R-rated. This marks the first time Sony has given an R-rating to a Marvel film, and it’s one of the very few (outside of the “Deadpool” franchise and “Logan”) Marvel films to receive that rating. The announcement came after footage was shown of Kraven the Hunter ripping people to shreds and apparently, tearing out someone’s throat. So yeah, they’re going hard-R with this one. 

“Kraven the Hunter” follows in the footsteps of “Venom” and “Morbius” and gives the spotlight to one of Spider-Man’s villains. This is Sony’s attempt to maximize the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise by turning the character’s various bad guys into more anti-heroes. And it’s an interesting choice for Kraven, as the character’s main claim to fame is as a hunter who wants to capture the biggest game of them all—Spider-Man. It was already curious how Sony hoped to take Kraven and give the character his own film, but adding to it an R-rating, and suddenly it’s interesting what this means for the future of the Sony Spider-verse. 

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Is there still the hope that “Venom,” “Morbius,” “Kraven the Hunter,” and various other spinoffs will eventually combine into one mega-film with a version of Spider-Man? If so, will Kraven be diluted a bit from his R-rated self to fit a PG-13 mold? Or is Sony going to adopt a more adult rating for more of its spinoff films? We don’t know. 

More importantly, do we really need a “Spider-Man” spinoff film to feature an R-rating? Will Kraven viciously murdering people make it a better film? It really does feel as if Sony is learning the wrong lessons from previous films and just thinking that making “Kraven” more violent and adult will make it more interesting. People hated “Morbius” and it’s not because it wasn’t super bloody. The movie was just bad. And not everything featuring a villain needs to be gritty, dark, and nasty like “Joker.” 

Regardless, Taylor-Johnson seemed excited when he said “Fuck yes!” on stage yesterday. We’ll just have to wait and see if “Kraven the Hunter” will flourish like “Venom” or get memed like “Morbius.” Adding blood and gore just seems a bit desperate. 

“Kraven the Hunter” arrives in theaters on October 6.