We’ve been hearing a lot about Jared Leto and his various continuing exploits as The Joker (above in Suicide Squad). But it turns out that Leto will be starring as another comic-book character, Morbius, in another cinematic universe. Read onward for all we know.
Who is Morbius?
A spin-off in the new, steadily expanding Spider-Man cinematic universe, Morbius (the film) will revolve around the Marvel comic book character Morbius, the Living Vampire. First appearing as an antagonist in 1971, he is essentially heroic but tortured, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who learned he was dying from a rare disorder and began a desperate search for a cure. That led to an experiment gone wrong; Morbius became “something resembling a vampire … driven by a blinding hunger for blood,” per Marvel’s official description.
So Leto will play a vampire?
Yup. But not just any vampire. Morbius sounds like an ideal addition to the Spider-Man universe that Sony Pictures has been planning, which will kick off with Venom, starring Tom Hardy, this fall. Indeed, Leto has been “loosely attached to the project for some time,” according to Variety, “but wouldn’t fully commit until he knew the film was headed in the right direction.” Now that time has come and Leto is, reportedly, fully on board to play the titular character.
Who will direct?
Daniel Espinosa. He is a Swedish director whose credits include Easy Money (with Joel Kinnaman), Safe House (with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds), Child 44 (with Tom Hardy) and Life (with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds).
He’s a talented director with an affinity for dark thrillers, so he sounds like a great choice. He met with Leto last month and clearly made a good impression.
Who wrote the script?
Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama. Their credits include Dracula Untold, The Last Witch Hunter, Gods of Egypt and Netflix’s Lost in Space, so their experience with similar, geek-friendly material is another positive sign for the project.
When might we see it in theaters?
Reportedly, production is scheduled to begin “sometime this year.” With Venom ready to launch into theaters on October 5, that should be a good indicator about the readiness of moviegoers to embrace the darker side of the Spider-Man universe.