Jared Leto may have gotten sick of waiting around for Warner Brothers to figure out what to do with him and his depiction of The Joker. Instead, he’s headed over to Sony to join their unfolding Spider-verse, as the lead in ‘Morbius the Living Vampire’.
Based on a character created by writer Roy Thomas and penciller Gil Kane, who first appeared in 1971’s ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #101, the film will be directed by Daniel Espinosa the helmer of science fiction horror movie ‘Life’ as well as action thrillers like ‘Safe House’ and ‘Child 44’. In the comics, Michael Morbius was a famed biochemist who suffered from a rare blood disorder. Attempting to cure this condition through scientific means, he accidentally turns himself into a creature similar to a vampire, but without the supernatural elements.
The script was penned by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, the creators of the Netflix series ‘Lost in Space’. Palak Patel will oversee the project for Sony, while Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach along with Lucas Foster will serve as producers.
Leto’s future with Warner Brothers’ DC Comics movies is uncertain (as is the future of all of those movies, for the most part). Last we heard, the studio was working on developing a ‘Joker’ movie with Leto to star and he was expected back in any number of projects, from ‘Suicide Squad 2’ to a potential twisted romance movie with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. How this casting news impacts these projects remains to be seen.
‘Morbius the Living Vampire’ will strictly be a Sony production; Marvel Studios will not be involved. That means that, even though the character Morbius debuted in a ‘Spider-Man’ comic book and has largely acted as a Spider-Man foe and/or supporting character, it’s entirely possible that Spider-Man won’t appear in the ‘Morbius’ movie.
‘Morbius’ follows next fall’s ‘Venom’, directed by Ruben Fleischer, starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Jenny Slate and Riz Ahmed, the first Sony film in its unfolding Spider-verse. A third movie, ‘Silver & Black’, focusing on female characters Silver Sable and Black Cat, to be directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, was just sent back to the drawing board after it appears that the script was not satisfactory. Also in the pipeline is ‘Nightwatch’ based on an obscure 1990s African-American supporting character that reportedly had Spike Lee interested in directing. It is unclear whether these movies will be set in the same universe or whether or not Spider-Man, himself will appear in any of them.
This weekend came word that another Spider-character, Silk was due to get her own movie, but that this film would spin directly out of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and its upcoming sequel ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’. Like those two, ‘Silk’ will be a collaboration with Marvel Studios and therefore a part of that shared universe.
Though ‘Morbius the Living Vampire’ (title subject to change), has not yet been scheduled by Sony, with a script, director, and star in place, expect news from this project to hit pretty hard and fast.
Are you excited to see what Leto can do as Dr. Michael Morbius?