Kraven the Hunter has cast its villain. While his lookalike Kit Harington joins the MCU via Eternals, Christopher Abbott has been tapped for a key role in Sony’s expanding iterations of the Marvel franchise. Deadline reports that Abbott will star as The Foreigner opposite Aaron Taylor-Johnson, The Hunter (aka Kraven).

Though he’s not facing down against any of the No Way Home heroes, The Foreigner has notably gone head-to-head with Spidey in a few of the comics. This time, though, he’ll show down with another one of Marvel’s iconic antiheroes, Kraven, who has battled Venom, Black Panther, and even Spider-Man. The Foreigner has no superhuman abilities; still, the Black Widow-like assassin is one of the best martial artists in the comics.

Taylor-Johnson and Abbott will star alongside Academy Award-nominee Ariana DeBose, Alessandro Nivola, Fred Hechinger, and Marvel BFF Russell Crowe. Just last week, Nivola was cast as an unknown villain in the flick — Kraven’s got a lot of baddies on his plate. J.C. Chandor will direct a script from Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Richard Wenk.

Abbott is known for less wicked roles, like his unconventional hero in George Clooney’s Catch-22 mini-series, or Marnie’s ditsy on-again, off-again boyfriend in Girls. Recently, though, the star has played roles in more thrilling films like Black Bear, Possessor, and It Follows, perhaps good prep for his nefarious transition.

Sony has been ramping up their Marvel content after the cult success of both Venom films (which even earned them a cameo in the MCU with No Way Home). Jared Leto’s delayed Morbius will land in theaters next month, and Venom has a third installation on the way. Other highlights include the Dakota Johnson-led adaptation of Madame Webb and a potential Spider-Woman flick from director Olivia Wilde. If Sony can play their cards right with Kraven the Hunter, they may be well on their way to a more ominous version of the MCU. (But, let’s face it, they’re still a long way from sad emo Batman.)

Kraven the Hunter is slated for a theatrical release on January 13, 2023.

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