It’s definitely a busy time at Sony Pictures, specifically their Marvel department. Currently they’re hard at work trying to develop their Spiderverse, as is evident by the Silk announcement earlier in the week. However, that news seems almost like an afterthought in comparison today’s casting news for Morbius the Living Vampire.
Academy Award-winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyer’s Club, Blade Runner 2049) has signed on to play the title character Morbius in the self-titled film directed by renowned Scandinavian filmmaker Daniel Espinosa (Life).
Accolades aside, what makes this casting so interesting is that 2 years ago Leto debuted his version of The Joker in Warner Bros.‘ Academy Award-winning Suicide Squad movie, as part of the DCEU. Moreover, he’s said to part of 3 other DCEU films, Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, and The Harley Quinn solo film. Plus, WB recently committed to a Jared Leto-led Joker solo movie. With Leto being part of all that DC content, how does jumping to a rival franchise, albeit not Marvel proper, effect his relationship with WB/DC and all of these films? Fact is, we won’t know for sure until someone leaks the studio’s true feelings or we see a reduction of Leto in the next Suicide Squad film. Though, neither seems likely.
The move seems like a good one for Leto, who has recently seen his career skyrocket with an Oscar win and hopping on board big-name franchises like Blade Runner 2049, and even the upcoming Tron 3. In Suicide Squad, he seemed underused while being the best part of the film, at times. By playing as Morbius, Leto gets to be the leading man, not taking a backseat to an ensemble. Plus, he’s coming into a situation with less expectations than he had by being the Joker. The general fandom isn’t too familiar with Morbius to grab their pitchforks if he say looks like a tattoo’d gangster. Joking aside, Leto does seem like the perfect actor to play Morbius the Living Vampire. Just check out his backstory, courtesy of Marvel Wiki, and try to think of someone else that wasn’t in Interview With a Vampire.
Dr. Michael Morbius was a brilliant scientist born in Greece who became a Nobel Prize winning biochemist. He suffered from a debilitating blood disease and developed an experimental treatment involving vampire bats and electroshocks. Its side effects turned him into a pseudo-vampire who needed to consume blood in order to survive, and gained typical vampire characteristics such as an aversion to sunlight, and the powers of flight, enhanced strength, speed, and healing (a healing factor). His overall appearance changed as well: he gained fangs, his nose flattened to appear more bat-like, and his skin became extremely pale. Additionally, the victims of his bite would turn into living vampires themselves.
No official date has been announced for Morbius the Living Vampire.