The Radio Times logo

Morbius: Release date and trailer for Jared Leto's Spider-Man spin-off

Jared Leto and Matt Smith star in the Sony superhero movie.

Jared Leto in Morbius
Sony Pictures
Published: Friday, 1st April 2022 at 10:56 am

The latest Sony Marvel movie has finally swooped onto the big-screen.

Advertisement

Following multiple release date delays, Morbius, a spinoff from the Spider-Man universe of live-action films, is finally upon us.

The movie stars Jared Leto as Dr Michael Morbius, a scientist who, after being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, goes to great lengths to find a cure. His success, however, comes at a terrible price as he’s infected with a form of vampirism.

The latest trailer gave fans a first glimpse at Leto’s scientist-turned-sort-of-vampire in his fully transformed state, fangs and all, as Matt Smith’s character Loxias Crown tells him to accept who he is – aka "the bad guy".

What’s more, a previous trailer hinted at a connection between Morbius and the MCU, giving us a glimpse at Michael Keaton, the villain of Spider-Man: Homecoming, as well as some Spider-Man graffiti and several references to Venom.

If you’ve already watched Morbius and want to read more about the post-credits scenes and ending, then peruse our explainer here. Alternatively, check out our piece on how to watch Morbius and whether it’s available to stream online.

So, without further ado, read on for everything we know so far about Morbius, including release date delays and cast information.

Morbius release date

Jared Leto in Morbius
Jared Leto in Morbius Sony Pictures

Morbius landed in cinemas in the US on 1st April 2022 – three months later than previously scheduled.

It landed in the UK slightly earlier on 31st March 2022.

The film is no stranger to delays. 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 several times as a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

The film has since been delayed five (!) times, with previous release dates including March and October 2021.

This means the film has arrived more than two years after the first trailer was released in January 2020.

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.

More like this

Morbius moving into 2022 means it is now part of a big deal Sony Pictures Entertainment and Netflix signed in April 2021, which gave Netflix the exclusive streaming rights to Sony's 2022 films and beyond following their theatrical release.

This means that Morbius, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, Uncharted and more will all be heading to Netflix only following their release in cinemas. However, as this was a US-only deal, it's unclear whether Netflix will also become the streaming home of Morbius in the UK.

Morbius cast

Matt Smith plays Milo in Morbius
Matt Smith in Morbius Sony Pictures

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 did not 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.

A cameo from Tom Hardy's Venom was also apparently spoiled in August 2021, after director Daniel Espinosa let slip that Hardy has a role in this Marvel film also.

"It usually feels strange before the day begins, when you look at the schedule and stand on the set yourself," Espinosa told MovieZine. "When you walk around there, the recording looks just like a Swedish production, but then when you look at the schedule and read names like Michael Keaton, Jared Leto, Tom Hardy, then it feels cool and very exciting."

Morbius trailer

Adria Arjona in Morbius
Adria Arjona in Morbius Sony Pictures

Yes! Sony has released multiple trailers for fans to get their fangs into...

Sony released a definitively titled Final Trailer in February 2022, giving us a further look at Leto's Morbius in his terrifying transformed state, with fangs and all. We also get a glimpse at Matt Smith's mysterious character Loxias Crown. Watch below:

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the character, Jared Leto released a behind-the-scenes featurette for Morbius in November 2021, which despite only featuring a few brief clips still got people talking...

The featurette also teased a new full-length trailer, which gave us some Venom references, glimpses of all the key characters and a better look at the experiment that causes Morbius to transform - as well as his vampiric form in action:

You can also watch first teaser trailer below:

Morbius plot

Morbius Jared Leto
Morbius Jared Leto Sony

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.

Leto opened up about the character during Variety's Actor on Actors interview, and how he found the part challenging due to similarities he found with the character.

"I was interested in this role because he goes on this journey from dying to finding a cure for this disease and becoming incredibly healthy, and then having things change in a way that he becomes monstrous," Leto said. "So, it’s a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, which is of course a classic role.”

He added: "It was hard for me in some way, because I’m not used to playing roles that are a little bit closer to who I am, day in and day out. Dr. Michael Morbius is a little closer to the way that I talk and the way that I behave.”

Morbius scene - The Transformation

On 5th December, Morbius released a full scene for fans to enjoy that showed the transformation of Dr Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) into his vampiric form.

Adria Arjona also features in the clip as Morbius' fiancee Martine Bancroft who appears to be treating Michael in the clip.

Morbius clashes with an armed team of guards before eventually transforming back into his human guise.

We should expect many scenes like this in the new film.

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.

To muddy the waters even further, star Tyrese Gibson claimed in an interview with ComicBook.com that Morbius would indeed be part of the MCU, only for Gamespot to later confirm that this was not the case.

Michael Keaton as Vulture/Adrian Toomes in Morbius
Michael Keaton as Vulture/Adrian Toomes in Morbius Sony Pictures Entertainment

However, 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.

A Sony executive has since said that there is a plan for Spider-Man to cross over with Venom and Morbius, adding that things will become more clear when Spider-Man: No Way Home is released.

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.

Michael Keaton has spoken of his confusion after the Morbius filmmakers talked him through recent Marvel plot points and the logic of a cinematic universe, which certainly hints that a complex multiverse storyline could be on the cards.

"I’m nodding like I know what the f--- they’re talking about...." Keaton told THR. "They were looking at me, and they just started laughing."

The prevailing fan theory is that Keaton will be playing a version of Vulture from Sony's Marvel Universe – and thus will not be the same character who battled Spider-Man and was later imprisoned in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Keaton is not the only Spider-Man reference connection, however, as a picture of Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man costume can be seen in the film's first trailer, while a newspaper featured in the behind-the-scenes vignette referenced villains Rhino and Black Cat who both appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Jared Leto in Morbius (Sony)
Jared Leto in Morbius (Sony) Sony

To confuse things even further, the word 'murderer' has been graffitied over the picture of Maguire's suit, surely referencing the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, so it remains to be seen whether these are just easter eggs – or if some multiverse shenanigans will be linking the many Spider-Man universes.

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, 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.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Movies hub for the latest news.

Advertisement

The latest issue of Radio Times is on sale now – subscribe now to get each issue delivered to your door. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content