Movies & TV

Aaron Taylor-Johnson Will Return to the World of Marvel. But Not As Pietro.

After the MCU played a trick on us with Quicksilver, the actor is joining Sony's Spider-Man-verse to play Kraven the Hunter. But will he keep the accent?
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I'll make this one quick, because we have business to get to. You know the actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson? He's a bit of a comic-book movie veteran. Taylor-Johnson played Pietro Maximoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Kick-Ass in Kick-Ass. Now, news hit that ATJ will suit up as Kraven the Hunter—the longtime Spider-Man adversary—in Sony's next villain solo franchise, after Venom and Morbius.

Now, we love Aaron Taylor-Johnson. We even wanted him to return as Pietro in WandaVision. (We got Ralph Bohner instead.) We only had oooone nit to pick about his short-lived stint in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: his accent for the fictional Eastern European country of Sokovia. It kind of sounded like a dude, having downed a couple drinks, doing his best impression of Alexander Ovechkin doing a postgame interview. To be fair, Elizabeth Olsen, who played his fictional sister, Wanda Maximoff, had a similar problem. Apparently, creating the accent for a made-up comic-book country was a little tough, especially with Olsen being American, Taylor-Johnson being British, and both of them having to meet on a similar(ish!) in the middle. Anyway. Wait until you get word of what Kraven the Hunter hails from.

In the comic books, Kraven the Hunter (legal name: Sergei Nikolaievich Kravinoff) hails from a different Eastern European country: Volgograd, Russia. He's a big-game hunter who traditionally wears a big, silly fur coat and cheetah pants, and rocks a mustache-goatee combo. Eventually, he becomes obsessed with our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and makes it his life's mission to find and kill him. (He actually somewhat succeeds at one point, in one of the most famous Spider-Man comic book runs.) Sure, Sony's Venom worked out to an extent, becoming a slightly campy, very gory take on the antihero. Morbius looks a tiny bit questionable, with Jared Leto in full Jared Leto batshit mode as a rabid vampire. In the wrong hands, Kraven the Hunter could reach Saturday Night Live! impression levels of mocking the 1960s' American idea of what a Russian lion-tigers-and-bears-hunter looks like.

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All I'm saying here is: I'm all for Pietro's resurrection, but let's not do it in Kraven the Hunter. Or, hear me out, maybe hire a Russian actor to play the Russian character! Either way, I'll give up if I hear Kraven slur some version of Pietro's catchphrase after sneaking up on someone. You didn't see that coming?!

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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