The promotional tour is in full swing for Black Panther and director Ryan Coogler has revealed in a new interview that he initially wanted to use Spider-Man supervillain Kraven the Hunter in the movie. Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger and Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue are the main villains now and it isn’t clear if they would have all been utilized, but Coogler admits to loving every iteration of Kraven the Hunter’s character. However, it was not meant to be. Ryan Coogler reveals that they wouldn’t have even been able to use the supervillain if they wanted.
Back in the beginning stages of pre-production for Black Panther, Ryan Coogler wanted to use Kraven the Hunter as the main villain in the movie. Coogler spoke to the studio about using Kraven, but Marvel didn’t and currently still does not have the rights to the character. In hindsight, the director isn’t even sure if Kraven the Hunter would have even worked in Black Panther. He had this to say.
“I’ve always loved Kraven the Hunter in almost every iteration. So there was a moment, Can I grab Kraven? And they were Nah, you don’t have Kraven. He was one where I thought Oh, man. But I don’t even know if he would have worked in the movie we ended up with, this was the early days.”
Kraven the Hunter made his first appearance in the Amazing Spider-Man Number 15 in 1964. Primarily known as a Spider-Man supervillain, he has an affinity for hunting superheroes with animal names in an effort to hang their heads on his wall as hunting trophies. Wakanda seems like it would have been the perfect setting for Kraven the Hunter to do what he naturally does, but there was too much red tape involved in getting the supervillain into Black Panther.
Ryan Coogler also revealed that when you work with Marvel, you’re hoping to be able to use all of these different characters. But it isn’t as easy as the character being under the Marvel Comics umbrella since different studios have the rights to certain characters and franchises. Those lines were recently blurred when Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, which is a Sony property, first showed up in Captain America: Civil War and is involved in Infinity War and the still untitled Avengers 4. When asked about what drew him to Kraven in the first place, Ryan Coogler had this to say.
“Being a Marvel fan, you want to grab all the characters. You realize there’s contractual things. You don’t have that character. There was a Christopher Priest run that was pretty heavy, there’s a big scene where Panther’s fighting Kraven, Kraven the Hunter.”
With or without Kraven the Hunter, Black Panther is set to make a killing when it finally hits theaters on February 16th. The movie is one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2018 and it’ expected to be one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest hits, despite internet trolls trying to sabotage the movie. It’s going to take a lot more than some disgruntled trolls to bring down Black Panther. You can check out the rest of the interview with Ryan Coogler via Yahoo Movies U.K.