Method actors are among the most interesting facets of the entertainment industry, particularly with motion pictures. Among the most prominent performers of that school of acting nowadays is Jared Leto. He has brought to life some pretty “out there” characters such as his take on the Joker for Warner Bros. Pictures’ 2016 DCEU film “Suicide Squad,” as well as the chillingly detached bigger bad of 2017’s “Blade Runner 2049.” Now, he is returning to the comic-book superhero well by portraying yet another Marvel character with franchise connections to Spider-Man, in a new Sony Pictures film.
The first trailer for Sony-Columbia Pictures’ “Morbius” was released this Monday, January 13, and it featured Jared Leto as the titular character in yet another of Sony’s non-MCU but Spider-related Marvel movies, similar to 2018’s “Venom” with Tom Hardy. This “Sony Marvel Universe” has been one of the little perks that Sony-Columbia managed to retain following their sharing deal with Disney and Marvel Studios for the Spider-Man character itself, and they are hoping to replicate the solid box office returns of “Venom” (which already has a sequel coming later this year). Much like the Venom character, Morbius also started as a Spider-Man super-villain, and with his origin and powers, he does come across as one.
Sony’s “Morbius” trailer immediately delves into the background of Michael Morbius (Jared Leto,) a brilliant scientist who like the late Stephen Hawking is crippled by a debilitating disease. In his case it is a rare blood disorder, and Morbius is researching a cure based on biological manipulation of DNA from a vampire bat. He feels justified in gambling for a remedy for the sake of his fiancée Martine Bancroft (Adria Arjona), but while successful, the “cure” also afflicts Morbius with vampire traits: superhuman abilities and healing but with an overpowering need to consume human blood.
Interestingly, despite not really being part of the main MCU franchise, Sony has made sure on the trailer credits that “Morbius” is being brought to audiences by “the studio that brought ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’,” alongside “Venom.” Another possible tie to the MCU is also teased with the appearance of Michael Keaton, who portrayed bad guy Adrian Toomes/Vulture in “Homecoming.” While he is not implied in the trailer to be reprising his MCU character, it does raise questions about the Marvel-Sony arrangement, which briefly broke down and then re-negotiated after the 2019 premiere of “Far from Home.”
“Morbius” also stars Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson and Al Madrigal, under the direction of Daniel Espinosa. The film arrives in cinemas July 2020.
Image from Comic Book Resources