Like a vampire lying in wait, news on Morbius has been deathly quiet ever since an intriguing teaser trailer was released all the way back in January 2020.
However, with Venom: Let There Be Carnage soon to be released and Spider-Man: No Way Home rumoured to feature both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, enthusiasm for the web-slinging wall-crawler and his enemies has gone sky-high.
Cult comic book character Morbius, often referred to as The Living Vampire, is the latest Marvel anti-hero to get his very own project, starring Suicide Squad‘s Jared Leto.
The film will follow Leto’s Michael Morbius, a biochemist attempting to treat his rare blood disorder who inadvertently turns himself into a vampire instead.
However, the Spider-Man villain is set to run into Michael Keaton, who may well be reprising his role of The Vulture. This teases quite a direct connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and the Loki finale may have revealed how this is possible.
Read on for everything we know so far about Morbius.
Morbius release date
Morbius originally had its release set for 31st July 2020 in both the UK and the United States, but was one of many films to be delayed as a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.
The film has since been delayed five(!) times, but with cinemas now open, Morbius is expected to meet its current release date of 28th January 2022.
The movie began filming in England at the end of February 2019, with Leto marking the start of production with a Twitter post of a week one clapperboard:
His co-star, Matt Smith, was also spotted on set in Manchester during filming before production shifted to Atlanta, where work was completed in May 2019. Interestingly, however, reshoots for Morbius were taking place as late as January 2021.
Who is in the cast of Morbius?
Jared Leto (known for his Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club and as Thirty Seconds to Mars’ frontman) is playing the titular Morbius, created in 1971 by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane.
Going by the name of Michael Morbius, the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist tried to cure his own blood disorder but instead turned himself into a pseudo-vampire with superhuman abilities. He started out as a villain in the comics before morphing into more of an anti-hero.
Morbius is not Leto’s first foray into superhero movies – his much-hyped Joker appeared in 2016’s Suicide Squad (as well as Zack Snyder’s Justice League) but, despite its commercial success, the film garnered negative reviews and Leto is not expected to return for the sequel.
Matt Smith joins him in Morbius, playing Loxias Crown – the film’s villain and Morbius’ best friend who suffers from the same blood disease. Crown is attacked by Morbius in the comics, also transforming into a Living Vampire known as Hunger.
Smith has said he was persuaded to join a superhero movie by his former Doctor Who co-star, Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: “She told me that she really likes it, making those movies. That was enough for me.”
Also appearing is Jared Harris (The Crown) as Morbius’ mentor, Adria Arjona (True Detective) as the film’s main love interest, and Tyrese Gibson (Fast & Furious) as an FBI agent trying to hunt down the so-called living vampire.
Gibson will be playing comic book character Simon Stroud and will be sporting a high-tech mechanical arm in the film – and reportedly signed a three-picture deal when he joined the film.
Fans had speculated that Jared Harris might also be playing iconic Spider-Man villain Doctor Octopus, aka Dr. Otto Octavius, but he flat-out denied the claims.
When Variety asked Harris if his character might be the iconic villain, the Chernobyl actor answered: “No. I love the imagination that the fans have, it’s exciting for me to think about the imagination that fans have. But yeah no, it’s not.”
And in something of a surprise move, Michael Keaton was confirmed to be making an appearance in the film after featuring in the teaser trailer. It’s yet to be confirmed whether he’ll be reprising his Spider-Man role as Vulture, but there’s certainly a strong possibility.
What is the plot of Morbius?
Based on the trailer, it looks like we’ll be seeing a very dark take on the superhero genre. In the teaser, we meet Michael Morbius (Leto) as he attempts to fight a rare blood condition – going so far as to experiment with bat DNA in an attempt to cure himself, which transforms him into his vampire-like form.
Is there a trailer for Morbius?
Yes! Sony has now released a teaser trailer for fans to get their fangs into…
Will Tom Holland’s Spider-Man make an appearance?
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the trailer is the appearance of Michael Keaton – with many fans speculating that he is playing Vulture, the same super-villain he appeared as in the MCU film Spider-Man: Homecoming.
This raises a lot of questions as Venom and Morbius exist in a cinematic universe Sony has created to sit separately from the one portrayed in Disney’s MCU films, where Tom Holland’s version of Spidey currently exists.
If Keaton is indeed reprising his Vulture role, it could open the door to Sony and Disney’s distinct universes merging at some point down the line – but that is merely speculation at this point in time.
Following the events of Loki, the upcoming threequel is widely thought to explore the multiverse – which could pave the way for Sony’s universe of characters to cross over or even merge with the MCU down the line.
Fans are hopeful for a Morbius crossover with Mahershala Ali’s vampire hunter Blade in particular – and when asked if the two could meet while on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Leto said he “could see that happening in the future.”
For now, Tom Holland is not expected to appear in Morbius or Venom, with Sony only featuring the superhero in animated form, releasing the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in 2018 (with a few sequels and spin-offs on the cards).
Sony has been hard at work on its superhero stable, which currently includes Morbius, a Venom sequel and an exciting project by Olivia Wilde which is rumoured to introduce Spider-Woman.