Jared Harris has joined the cast of Sony’s ‘Morbius’, the studio’s second live-action ‘Spider-Man’-adjacent feature, following last year’s hit ‘Venom’. Harris’ role was not disclosed, but he joins Jared Leto, who is playing the titular character, Adria Arjona, and Matt Smith. Harris is the son of the late Richard Harris, a.k.a. the original Dumbledore, and is recognizable or his roles on AMC’s ‘Mad Men’, and more recently ‘The Terror’, Netflix’s ‘The Crown’, Syfy’s ‘The Expanse’, and FOX’s ‘Fringe’. He has also appeared in the movies ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’, the 2014 remake of ‘Poltergeist’, ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’, and ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’.
In ‘Morbius’, Leto plays Michael Morbius, a biochemist who takes extreme steps in an attempt to cure his rare blood disease, but things go wrong, turning him into the scientific equivalent to a vampire, while Adria Arjona is portraying his fiancée Martine Bancroft. Like Harris, Smith’s role is also being kept under wraps, although it is believed that the film also includes two additional characters — Emil Nikos, Michael Morbius’ best friend and fellow scientist who assists him in his experiment; and the villain Loxias Crown, who is believed to be the Marvel character The Hunger, another not-quite-vampire. It’s possible that Smith and Harris will play those two roles– with Smith more likely to be playing Nikos, with Harris as Crown. But then again, they could be playing different characters whose presence in the script hasn’t been disclosed.
Morbius was introduced in Marvel Comics’ ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #101, published in 1970. The character was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane. Though he was depicted as a villain in earlier appearances, he would eventually appear as more of an anti-hero, even headlining his own series at times.
Despite being plagued by toxic advance buzz, ‘Venom’ became a surprise smash last fall and took in $855 million worldwide. Sony hopes that this will help additional Spider-Man-based movies succeed, even without Spider-Man actually appearing in them.
‘Morbius’ is scheduled to hit theaters on July 31, 2020.