With Sony finally living it up again via the success of Venom and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, not to mention enjoying a deal that’s paid off handsomely with Tom Holland’s entry into the Disney/Marvel MCU as its personal money web-spinner, the studio is ploughing ahead with several projects, including Morbius, their dark Spider-Man spin-off movie.
We’ll be gathering together everything you need to know about the film before it’s released, including cast announcements, plot details and trailers, so check back here for more, as it happens.
Morbius is filming here in the UK, and lots of people were tracking the production when it arrived in Manchester recently. Check out some behind the scenes set pics featuring Jared Leto and co-star Matt Smith below…
Nice scarf, Matt!
Lead actor Leto shared one of the first pictures from the production a while back, along with some obligatory vampire emojis…
Jared Leto will be playing the lead role of Morbius, which was surprising news to those who had expected him to reprise his role as The Joker in a solo spin-off movie over at Warner Bros. After his not-very-well-received turn in Suicide Squad, there was still talk of him rolling onto a Joker standalone flick, but this quickly died down, and in June, 2018 Sony revealed that it had signed up the Oscar-winning star of Dallas Buyers Club and Blade Runner 2049 to be its Morbius.
Former Doctor Matt Smith also has a major role in Morbius, according to Variety. He’ll play the villain of the piece, Loxias Crown, Morbius’ best friend, who also suffers from the same blood disease that affects Morbius. Smith has recently fielded roles in Charlie Says and Patient Zero, and had a brief role in Terminator Genisys back in 2015. We’ll also (maybe?) be seeing him in Star Wars: Episode IX at the end of 2019.
There are currently rumours doing the rounds that Tom Hardy will make an appearance in Morbius as Venom, but this hasn’t yet been confirmed. It’s a lot more likely than Tom Holland showing up as Spider-Man, however.
Deadline reports that Jared Harris has joined Morbius as the lead character’s mentor. Harris recently led the first season of The Terror, and is a character actor extraordinaire who is quickly racking up quite the CV stateside.
Fast And Furious star Tyrese Gibson is circling a role in Morbius, according to THR, as “an FBI agent trying to hunt down the living vampire.”
Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) is the director on this one, and he’s working off a script by Netflix’s Lost In Space co-creators, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.
We’re not entirely sure where Sony will take Morbius. The character has featured in the Marvel comics as anything from a straight-up villain to a sort of empathetic villain, and in the 90s he was even depicted a hero of sorts. Samaza and Sharpless will be tasked with fleshing the character out properly, though, and we’d be surprised if they didn’t make Morbius at least somewhat likeable. After all, we heard a lot of chatter from the cast and crew before the release of 2018’s Venom about it being a hardcore violent adult version of the symbiote’s origin story, but a few months before its release the studio was suddenly presenting a PG-13 cut, more’s the pity.
The character of Dr. Michael Morbius first appeared Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man #101 in October of 1971, the first issue in the series that Stan Lee didn’t write, and in a period just after the Comics Code Authority finally took the gloves off creators wanting to add vampires and other supernatural creatures to their work.
Dr. Morbius began his story as an incredible biochemist with a rare blood disorder. He set out to cure himself, experimenting with vampire bats. This soon went wrong, and the doctor became a pale, bloodthirsty creature who for all intents and purposes is a vampire, without actually being dead. Hence, the character being referred to as a ‘Living Vampire.’
If you want to know more about Morbius and his backstory, we’ve gone into it in detail right over here.
Morbius release date
Morbius will be released on 31st July, 2020, making it one of Sony’s big summer gambles next year.