Spurred on by the commercial success of Tom Hardy’s Venom, Sony is adding to its Spider-Man spin-off shared universe with Morbius – a new take on the Marvel antihero with vampiric tendencies and superhuman abilities.
Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Life) and with Jared Leto playing the lead – said to be bringing Joker levels of “intensity and charisma and devotion” to the role – it’s already attracting plenty of hype. Here’s everything you need to know…
When is Morbius released in cinemas?
Morbius has its release currently set for 31st July 2020 in both the UK and the United States.
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, has also been spotted on set in Manchester.
Production is next expected to shift to Atlanta – the filming location of many Marvel films – and conclude at the end of May 2019.
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 as Morbius the Living Vampire.
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 but, despite its commercial success, the film garnered negative reviews and Leto is not expected to return for the sequel (with Joaquin Phoenix providing Warner Bros’ next take on the role in the standalone Joker).
Matt Smith joins him in Morbius, playing Loxias Crown – the film’s villain and Morbius’ best friend who suffers from the same blood disease. Smith has previously said he was persuaded to join a superhero movie by his former Doctor Who co-star, Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers movies: “She told me that she really likes it, making those movies. That was enough for me.”
Also starring are The Crown’s Jared Harris playing 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 living vampire.
Is there a trailer for Morbius?
Not yet – but we’ll update this article as soon as its released. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of Jared Leto in character on set:
What is the plot of Morbius? Will Tom Holland’s Spider-Man make an appearance?
Details on the exact plot of the film are being kept under wraps for now, but – based on the format of 2018’s Venom – we expect it to be some sort of origin story for the titular character.
Despite appearing in the comics with Spider-Man, both antiheroes exist in a cinematic shared universe Sony has created to sit separately from the one portrayed in the Marvel films (which are owned by Disney) where Tom Holland’s current version of Spidey exists. A deal between the two studios previously allowed Spider-Man – a Sony character – to enter the MCU, and there he’ll stay for the meantime.
Sony has been hard at work on its superhero stable with Morbius in production, a Venom sequel in the works and development on further films Silver & Black and Nightwatch.
But for the time being, neither Tom Holland nor his Spider-Man character will make an appearance in Morbius or Venom, with Sony only featuring the superhero in animated form, releasing the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse in 2018 (and with a few sequels and spin-offs on the cards).