Tom Holland's Spider-Man Almost Fought Kraven The Hunter

The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't a stranger to frequent and sometimes even sudden change, and few characters manage to embody that as much as Spider-Man does. As played by Tom Holland in this latest reboot of the beloved hero, Spidey's very first appearance in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War" wasn't finalized until very late in the process, necessitating all sorts of backup plans and backup plans to back up those backup plans in the event that circumstances didn't line up. Thankfully, the stars aligned and Peter Parker was able to participate in the Avenger-on-Avenger (get your mind out of the gutter!) airport battle and go on to enjoy a very successful stay within the popular franchise in the years since.

Even now, his upcoming appearance in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" comes rife with all sorts of uncertainty, as we're still not 100% certain whether the threat of villains from previous "Spider-Man" franchises will also necessitate the return of their respective versions of Peter Parker, as well. That reveal will likely remain under wraps until we're all actually sitting in the theater and the lights go down. 

But we can at least think about the might-have-beens in the meantime. One of the possibilities for Spidey's third solo movie in the MCU, apparently, would have featured Holland's Peter Parker going up against the fearsome (and frequent subject of online fan-casting) Kraven the Hunter.

Comic Contingencies

How do you follow up the game-changing conclusion to "Spider-Man: Far From Home" that saw Peter Parker's identity leaked to the public? Obviously, shattering the multiverse and invading the MCU with rogues from different "Spider-Man" movies in the past is one way to do it. But in another alternate universe, perhaps, we could've been getting ready to watch Tom Holland's Peter square off against the toughest singular threat he's ever faced — Kraven the Hunter. That's the latest report from Collider, who spoke with "No Way Home" stars Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon, and Zendaya about at least one major way that the threequel could've turned out to be very, very differently.

Even though the trio was aware of these multiverse plans for "at least a couple years" (according to Zendaya, "When I first heard about [the multiverse], I was like, 'okay cool, but that's definitely not going to happen'"), the tenuous nature of actually implementing such grand ideas meant that the concept of the film was somewhat in flux. As far as Plan B's go, Holland indicates that director Jon Watts had a pretty nifty one up his sleeve:

"For a long time, there was going to be a Kraven movie that was going to be the third movie because things weren't working out and all sorts of different stuff. Jon pitched me this Kraven movie, which actually was really cool. I don't want to talk about it in case that movie ends up happening down the line, but it was fun."

Leave it to Tom Holland to blurt out an exciting concept for a potential film, only to then backtrack a bit after he's already spilled the beans. Old habits die hard, folks. Interestingly enough, however, this isn't the first time Holland's talked about potentially being involved in a Kraven-focused movie. The comic book villain, who first appeared back in 1964 and goes by the name Sergei Kravinoff, was one of many concepts that Holland admitted he pitched to Sony's Amy Pascal back when it seemed as if Marvel and Sony's rights-sharing deal threatened to fall apart. Of course, things worked out and Sony even went ahead and greenlit their own standalone "Kraven the Hunter" film. It may be only a matter of time before these near-misses between Spidey and Kraven finally turn into a reality.

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" will release on December 17, 2021.