New ‘Kraven’ set video highlights practical FX

A new on-set video taken from the rooftops above shows that the Kraven the Hunter movie, now shooting in London, will rely on more than just CGI to achieve its requisite action scenes. The footage gives an aerial view of a car chase that looks to be right out of a Spider-Man comic.

The footage, shot by TikTok user Reda Bitar, shows an almost-balletic car chase in which an actual, down-to-earth human — the stunt double for Kraven’s portrayer, Aaron Taylor-Johnson — clings to the side of a minivan, missing being hit by another vehicle by only a matter of inches. The chase appears to be the culmination of a laboriously-set-up shot that producers teased in March of last year. The original footage, provided in a Tweet thread by Twitter fan page @KravenSource, showed several street-level shots of what appears to be Taylor-Johnson’s stunt double and the production team setting up the complex sequence prior to shooting the actual stunt.

Bitar’s footage captures the sequence from an entirely new level, showing the culmination (well, the pre-post-production culmination, anyway) of the team’s work, as the minivan narrowly avoids a collision, with “Kraven” hanging on to the side. The minivan, which is rigged with multiple cameras in order to capture the scene, then speeds away down the street.

The sequence is a triumph of practical effects, relying on expert drivers and stunt performers instead of the more-common CGI sequences that MCU fans are so familiar with. Whether this is an attempt to differentiate Kraven the Hunter from the rest of the superhero competitors out there, or if this is a choice of director J.C. Chandor, is not known.

Taylor-Johnson plays Kraven the Hunter, aka Sergei Kravinoff, a big-game hunter who has been a canon foe of Spider-Man since the early days of the character. Although Alessandro Nova, Russell Crowe, and Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose are all scheduled to appear in the film, little has been revealed about its plot. The comic-book version of the character is often portrayed as a hunter who is seeking the ultimate challenge: to stalk and defeat Spider-Man himself. Kraven was utilized most famously in a Spider-Man comic storyline called Fearful Symmetry: Kraven’s Last Hunt, though whether this is the source of the screenplay — or indeed if it’s even possible without the protagonist/antagonist relationship of Spider-Man and Kraven — is not known at this time.

Although Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield appeared as their respective Spider-Men in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Kraven is expected to follow the accepted blueprint as another installment of the so-called “Sony Spider-Man Universe,” which explores the life and origins of Spider-Man villains such as Venom and Morbius, but does not feature appearances by Spidey himself, per Sony and Disney’s 2015 negotiations.

Viewers will have to wait and see if Kraven breaks the mold of the previous SSU installments in any way.

Kraven the Hunter is expected to be released on January 13, 2023.