Last year, Sony revealed its plans to make a Morbius the Living Vampire movie as part of its attempt to build a Spider-Man spinoff cinematic universe without Spidey. Now, Sony has reportedly signed Jared Leto to star as Morbius, and added a director to bring Marvel's vampire hero to the big screen.
Via Variety, Leto reportedly circled the Morbius film for months before he was convinced to join the project. Safe House and Life director Daniel Espinosa has been tapped to helm Morbius, which will feature a script by Lost in Space scribes Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama. According to the report, Leto's new role won't interfere with his recently announced solo Joker film, though it's unclear which film will begin production first.
Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane created Morbius as a Spider-Man villain in 1971. As "the living vampire" implies, Michael Morbius is not actually one of the undead. Instead, Morbius was afflicted with vampire-like physical traits and a unquenchable thirst for blood thanks to a botched experimental treatment for his rare blood disorder.
Unlike Venom, Morbius' origin story may be able to more easily stand on its own without Spider-Man. Morbius has also headlined his own comic book series, and given himself a more heroic persona over the past few decades. Morbius was also a vital part of the Midnight Sons, a loosely connected group of supernatural Marvel heroes that included Ghost Rider and Doctor Strange.
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Images: Marvel Comics