Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kraven the Hunter
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kraven the Hunter

Kraven the Hunter: Aaron Taylor-Johnson Went to Extreme Lengths to Prepare for Role

Kraven the Hunter star Aaron Taylor-Johnson prepared for his leading role by really getting into the mindset of a savage animal.

Speaking to Esquire, the veteran actor explained that he started by analyzing the source material and quickly realized that if he wanted to replicate the towering Spider-Man villain, he’d need to bulk up his arms and gain plenty of muscle around his chest and stomach. Taylor-Johnson estimated that while he was filming Kraven, he weighed around 200 pounds, approximately 30 pounds above his usual body weight.

Embracing Kraven’s Wild Side

Yet hitting the gym wasn’t the only thing Taylor-Johnson did to help embody the villain. He also learned to run on all fours, mimicking the motions of a quadruped to make Kraven’s animalistic traits more authentic. The actor also spent time understanding what it meant to be a hunter by stalking deer and studying the work of wildlife photographer Peter Beard who was known for immersing himself in nature to better capture his subjects. “When you say stuff like ‘I’m the greatest hunter of all time,’ you’ve got to know deep within your being that it’s coming from a place of reality and depth, and feels like it’s possible and plausible,” Taylor-Johnson said when asked why he was going to such great lengths to play a Marvel villain.

Details on Kraven the Hunter are still scarce but Taylor-Johnson has promised the film will be a different kind of Marvel movie. Sony has placed a great deal of focus on the character being an anti-hero, positioning him as a die-hard conservationist rather than a villain whose only goal is to kill Spider-Man. At the time of writing, it remains unknown whether the Wall Crawler will make an appearance in the film.

Kraven the Hunter is slated to hit theaters on August 30.