Sony Pictures has a longstanding experience with Spider-Man and other Marvel Comics characters for which the company holds the big-screen rights, and plans for an interconnected universe incorporating those characters have recently accelerated. Following the success of Venom in 2018, Sony revealed plans for further Marvel Comics-based films, starting with Morbius, the Living Vampire.
Morbius will feature Jared Leto as the title character, a bloodthirsty antihero. The film will be directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Life) and will be released in theatres on April 1, 2022. Here’s all we’ve learned thus far.
The latest Morbius trailer has significantly more polished visual effects and follows the eponymous character’s vampiric journey while balancing heroism and villains.
A possible Venom crossover
During an interview (translated) with the Swedish website MovieZine, director Daniel Espinosa almost confirmed that Tom Hardy’s Venom appears in Morbius. “It usually feels strange before the day begins, when you look at the schedule and stand on the set yourself,” he said. “When you walk around there, the recording looks just like a Swedish production, but then when you look at the schedule and read names like Michael Keaton, Jared Leto, Tom Hardy, then it feels cool and very exciting. But once you start working, it’s exactly the same thing. An actor wants a director and actors want to be directed.”
There’s just one character Tom Hardy could play in Morbius.
When will it be released?
To this point, the ultimate reality of Marvel’s living vampire is continual delays. Morbius was supposed to be released in July 2020, but Sony Pictures moved it up to March 19, 2021, owing to pandemic-related theatre closures across the country. The company put the picture back to October 8, 2021, in January 2021, then rescheduling it for January 21, 2022. It was pushed one week from May 2021 to January 28, 2022. Finally, only weeks before its January release date, Sony rescheduled the picture until April 1, 2022.
Connection to MCU
“Where is Spider-Man?” says a poster on a bus on the set of Morbius. In The Daily Bugle, you’ll find out. “This looks to be a clear tie-in with the events in Spider-Man: Far From Home, and is part of Morbius and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s ongoing efforts to build a connection. Since J.K. Simmons has announced that he will reprise his role as J. Jonah Jameson, the editor-in-chief of The Daily Bugle and a Spider-Man hater, this film may spend some time expanding on the plot of Far From Home.”
The first trailer for Morbius debuted on January 13, 2020, and not only gave a synopsis of the events that led to scientist Michael Morbius’ transformation into the film’s vampiric antihero but also revealed the film’s connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a surprising final scene.
The teaser contains a sequence with Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes, the villain from Spider-Man: Homecoming, after racing through a number of scenes that hint at how Leto’s character acquired his extraordinary skills (and hunger for murder), then demonstrating some of those abilities. It’s unclear how that MCU picture will tie to Morbius, but the film’s relationship to Marvel’s movie world as well as Sony’s Spider-verse will undoubtedly spark a lot of discussions.
Morbius was a brilliant biochemist who gained incredible talents as well as an insatiable thirst for blood as a result of his efforts to heal his own unusual blood condition, according to Marvel Comics. He originally appears in a 1971 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man and was developed by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, making him the first Spider-Man villain who was not created by Stan Lee.
The film stars Jared Leto as Michael Morbius and looks to be based on the Marvel Comics character’s origin tale, with the first teaser depicting Leto’s character frantically striving to cure his blood ailment. His attempts lead him to consider bat-based remedies, and the rest is, well, vampire superhero history.
Throughout the years, Morbius fought against and alongside Spider-Man at various points in Marvel’s comics, often while struggling to control his vampiric hunger. It’s unknown exactly where his moral compass will point in the film, and the Morbius trailer doesn’t seem to offer many clues. Like Venom, Morbius spent a considerable amount of time as a violent vigilante in the comics, often using criminals to sate his cravings for blood.
With his supporting role as Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad, Jared Leto didn’t exactly win over comic book fans, but he’ll get a second shot with the starring part in Morbius.
Leto, an Academy Award winner, was cast in the lead role of the film in June 2018.
A slew of recognizable celebrities will join Leto in the film’s ensemble. Adria Arjona, who starred in the film Good Omens, will play Morbius’ love interest.
Matt Smith (shown below) will portray Loxias Crown, a well-known Marvel Comics character whose backstory has been changed for the film, and who will now be a former buddy of Morbius who suffers from a similar blood ailment. Jared Harris, a Chernobyl actor, will play a mentor role to him. As well as Tyrese Gibson, who will play FBI agent Simon Stroud.