Yesterday, it was announced that Jared Leto will lead in a Spider-Verse spin-off film about one bloodsucking baddie: Morbius. Releasing Venom later this year and announcing Morbius now, it seems Sony is setting up for a cinematic universe of their own. The film will be directed by Daniel Espinosa, director of Safe House and Life. With his last two films being thrillers, it’ll be interesting to see where his direction leads Morbius. The writers of Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot will be penning the script.
With the rights to Spidey himself in the Disney castle, it’s a bit odd for Sony to be starting a Spider-verse now. They do still own a fair amount of his foes, though, so those characters seem to be the basis of their cinematic direction. Some may question the decision, but fans will just have to wait and see how things go from here.
And with Morbius, the vampire villain/anti-hero, perhaps things could get strangely interesting.
Who is Morbius?
For those less-versed in comic lore, they might be even more confused. Who is Morbius, anyway?
Michael Morbius was a brilliant child born with a terrible blood disorder. He was trapped indoors most of his youth because of his illness. Morbius was also afflicted with a hideous, deformed appearance, so he was often lonely. Eventually, the studious and innovative boy grew into a Nobel-prize winner specializing in human and animal biology.
In his adult years, Morbius fell in love and craved a normal life more than ever. Desperate, he began to experiment more aggressively with his health. After extensive, dangerous experimentation with bats and electroshock therapy, he accidentally turned himself into a vampiric creature. Morbius thirsted for blood and obtained many abilities of the basic vampire: sun aversion, infectious bites, flight, superhuman speed and strength, healing abilities, fangs, and bat-like features.
Already a tormented man, Morbius suffered the loss of his humanity and turned to crime for many years to feed and hunt for a cure.
MorbIus eventually was struck by lightning, which reversed some of the terrible, violent sides of his condition. He then became a tormented anti-hero, meaning well and rarely malicious, but still jaded by a world in which he was a monster.
He’s been apart of the Spiderman roster since 1971.
On The Sunny Side (Pun Intended)
The last vampire movie beloved by fans and critics was Hotel Transylvania. While a damn good film, I and many other fans of the dark and supernatural are desperately in need of some proper, hardened vampires. Morbius is brilliant, tortured, well-meaning, and not a sparkling embarrassment. He could be quite the fascinating protagonist.
Though the Spider-Verse seems a little half-baked in concept, particularly without a Spiderman, the characters Sony is choosing do pique interest. Tom Hardy is a great actor and Venom is a fantastic, complex character that fans love to watch. While some may hold reservations about the film, his abilities and the good work seen so far on the costume must be acknowledged.
When it comes to Morbius, things could be more brilliant than expected. Leto may have lost a lot of votes as The Joker, but he could be the right man to convey the levels of brilliance and frustration that Morbius suffers from. Think of the unhinged scientist he played in Blade Runner: 2049. There really could be something there, amping up the drama and adding some blood and fangs.
Most of all, though, we should all just be excited for more shots at dark, dangerous, complex villains again. With so many justice-flailing, perfect heroes floating around, the world of cinema could use a few more misunderstood monsters. And we definitely deserve better than the ones we got in Suicide Squad. Venom and Morbius could be just what we need.