Shockingly, Sony’s Next Superhero Movie Might be in Trouble

It’s (almost) Kraven time.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Sergei Kravinoff in Kraven the Hunter
Sony Pictures

Villains are made, not born, but Sony’s latest is taking a bit longer than most.

Marvel alum Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been set to bring one of Spider-Man’s most formidable adversaries to the big screen for years now. He’ll star in Kraven the Hunter, and potentially make Sony’s live-action Spider-Verse even bigger... but fans will have to wait a bit longer to see his take on the character.

Kraven the Hunter was originally slated for a 2023 release, but the actors’ strike saw Kraven’s debut pushed back a full year. Now the film faces another delay, as Sony has pushed its release from August 30 to December 13, 2024.

Given the turmoil unfolding in the Sonyverse lately, another delay feels like the studio is anticipating another bomb. The massive failure of Madame Web, and the subsequent abandonment of any spin-offs attached to it, suggest that Sony is ready to give up on its fledgling franchise. Venom 3 (notably subtitled The Last Dance) is also set to hit theaters this year; though details are scarce, it could bring the Sonyverse to an end.

A new release date for Kraven is surprising, but the film could enjoy its new theatrical window.

Sony Pictures

That said, Kraven’s new release date might not be all bad. December has been good to franchise tentpoles, especially the various Disney properties. The Star Wars sequels dominated the December box office, as did stand-alone prequel Rogue One. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom did alright too, making up for a shaky debut with over $400 million by the time it finished its box office run.

Kraven doesn’t have the same cultural cachet, but it could still make some bank for Sony, as Disney seems to have temporarily retreated from the holiday window. Kraven’s only competition is Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Disney’s Lion King prequel, Mufasa. Both debut just a week after Kraven’s December 13 premiere, and two family-friendly films may not affect Kraven’s chances of success. Per Variety, Sony is positioning its film as the R-rated option for the month, which could draw in the audience it needs. In a way, a December release gives Kraven its best chance of success. As long as it’s better than Madame Web (which shouldn’t be hard), the Sony-Verse could live to fight another day... or at least not go out with a whimper.

Kraven the Hunter hits theaters on December 13.

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