Sony’s Kraven the Hunter has just received its first trailer, giving us a sneak peek of the characters we can expect to see in the movie. One character has fans excited and a little concerned due to his spotty history in cinema. With so many differences between his comic book origin, his appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which many fans thought was awful) and his depiction in the trailer, everyone wonders, “What is up with Rhino in Kraven the Hunter?”
Sony has a spotty history regarding the Marvel Villains Universe they are creating, with the somewhat successful and loved depiction of Venom and the rejected portrayal of Morbius. The next addition to the Marvel Villains is Kraven the Hunter. It will be much gritter than the two mentioned, with an R-rating instead of a PG-13 rating.
Kraven the Hunter tells the story of Sergei Kravinoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who finds himself with superhuman abilities after surviving a lion attack. His newly found powers are that of an animal as well, making him into Kraven the Hunter.
Along with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, we also get to see some other characters that are joining him on the cast, including Russel Crowe as his father, Nikolai Kravinoff, Ariana DeBose as Calypso and a sneak peek of Alessandro Nivola as Aleksei Sytsevich, otherwise known as the Rhino.
Who is the Rhino?
Without sounding funny, this is a multi-layered question because he has been brought to life differently every time we have seen him.
In the comics, Aleksei Systevic is a low-ranking member of a Russian mafia family who underwent a series of painful experiments that fused him into a Rhino-like suit to make him the most challenging muscle for his mob family that they could ever need, making it impossible for him to remove his suit.
After being caught and arrested by Spider-Man, Systevic was taken from his prison and experimented on further, giving him superhuman strength, durability, and enhanced speed, thanks to his suit.
When Aleksei appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he was portrayed by Paul Giamatti and depicted as a gang leader. I’m sure you can already see where this diverges from the comic book origin, but wait; it gets worse.
Aleksei is quickly apprehended by Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, only to resurface in the movie towards the end. He is unchanged. However, he is piloting a Rhino mech suit.
While Aleksei has no powers, his suit is armoured, can run on all fours, and is equipped with enough fun artillery to make him a thorn in Spider-Man’s side.
Without any powers himself, and everything unique about him deferred to his suit, I’m sure you can see why fans were a little disappointed.
We don’t see much of Rhino in the trailer aside from the last few seconds where he unhooks a tube connected to a portable device, presumably hooked up to him somehow. His skin starts to mutate to a scaly, grey form.
While the beginning stages of the transformation seem more like Doc Croc than Rhino skin, the transformation may progress further.
The implication of the device and his appearance (glasses, a buttoned-up shirt, neat hair) suggests that this version of Rhino is more intelligent than the renditions we have seen before.
The device and his dialogue, “There is an animal in each one of us. Don’t you want to know why they call me The Rhino?” suggests that we might see a Rhino that has no need for a suit for the first time, which relies purely on his mutation.
We know he is generally a villain, but what could his role be in the upcoming movie? Is he looking for a cure? Is he looking for a way to enhance his already tremendous mutation? We can’t wait until we get to see for ourselves.
What do you think of Rhino in Kraven the Hunter trailer?