As per a recent exclusive from Deadline, First Man actor Christopher Abbott has been cast as the Foreigner in Sony's upcoming Marvel film Kraven the Hunter. The publication reportedly learned from their sources that Abbott is playing the film's primary antagonist.
Previous reports from Deadline stated that Alessandro Nivola would be playing another undisclosed villain in the story. These reports hint at multiple antagonists against Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Kraven.
The film is reportedly on track to begin production in the coming weeks, with Taylor-Johnson currently undergoing stunt training in England.
Exploring the Foreigner's comic origin and background
The character was first introduced in the Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #115 (June 1986) comic issue, which was written by Peter David and illustrated by Mark Beachum. However, the full visual appearance of the character was in the #116 issue. In the comics, the character was best known as a mercenary, who was one of Spider-Man's foes.
In the comics, the Foreigner's identity has not been disclosed as of yet. Thus, Sony's Kraven the Hunter movie may decide to break the mystery by assigning a name or alias to the assassin. While not much is known about Foreigner's backstory, he was previously married to Silvija Sablinova (aka the Silver Sable). This defined a significant portion of his arc in certain comic stories.
In the Amazing Spider-Man Vol #265 comic issue, it was revealed that the two had attempted to kill each other frivolously following their divorce. Their relationship at the time was somewhat similar to the 2005 film Mr. & Mrs. Smith, albeit sans the love between the characters.
In later stories, Foreigner was revealed to be romantically involved with Spider-Man's ex, Black Cat. At the time, the mercenary was tasked with retrieving a notebook she had stolen from the Kingpin.
While Kingpin already exists in the MCU, Black Cat is yet to make her debut. Thus, it is unlikely that this aspect of the character's backstory will be explored in live-action.
Abilities and powers of the Foreigner
While having no superpowers or enhanced abilities like super strength, enhanced speed, or others, the character can induce a temporary hypnotic influence on others. In the comics, the character could have an opponent in a hypnotic trance for ten seconds by just establishing eye contact.
In the slow state of mind from the hypnosis, opponents would have slowed reaction times, which would, in turn, lead them to believe that he can move fast or teleport.
What does this casting mean for the future of Sony Pictures' Universe of Marvel Characters?
Depending on the scale of Kraven the Hunter, characters like Silver Sable could be introduced in the film. The introduction of Silver Sable (Silvija Sablinova) along with the introduction of Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) in live-action would evidently hint at the rumored project starring the two characters.
Around 2014, Sony Pictures was rumored to have a Silver & Black movie in development that would have featured Sablinova and Hardy. However, as of now, the project seems to be on a hiatus from further development. A potential casting of either of the two characters and probable positive reception from the fans could be enough for Sony to make the film.
Furthermore, Sony X Marvel can also introduce Kraven and Foreigner to MCU to face off against Tom Holland's Spider-Man in the upcoming installments.