Although Jared Leto’s return to the DCEU as The Joker may is looking slim these days, with Joaquin Phoenix soon taking on the role in a standalone movie, the actor will be playing a comic book villain on the Marvel side. Following the massive success of Sony’s first Spider-Verse installment, Venom, Leto will star as anti-hero Morbius the Living Vampire.
In the midst of filming Morbius in London ahead of the title’s summer 2020 release date, Jared Leto has shared why playing a vampire has always been an interest of his with these words:
When I was a kid, I remember being at my grandmother’s house in Louisiana and the original OG would come on and just being pretty transfixed as some many of us were when we saw that. And then the Anne Rice era was big for my brother and I. We passed those books around to each other.
During his childhood, Jared Leto loved watching classic vampire movies, perhaps including 1931's Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. He was also an avid reader of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles novels, which were adapted to film in the form of 1994’s Interview with the Vampire and 2002’s Queen of the Damned.
The actor also cited Gary Oldman’s Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stroker’s Dracula from 1992 as a favorite, along with fellow vampire films The Hunger and Thirst. In the Variety interview, he did admit to skipping over Hollywood’s last popular vampire franchise, the Twilight movies, because he was “just too damn old.”
Morbius is a villain who popped up in the Spider-Man comic books in the ‘70s. He was originally Dr. Michael Morbius, a biochemist who attempts to cure his rare blood condition by using a serum made of vampire bat DNA. The treatment results in Morbius taking on traits of a vampire such as having bloodthirst, an aversion to light, super strength, super speed and healing abilities.
The film will also star Adria Arjona from Triple Frontier as Martine Bancroft, who is his fiancée in the comics. Doctor Who’s Matt Smith as the film’s villain, Loxias Crown, who is Morbius’ best friend and also suffers from the same blood disease. Jared Harris will play a mentor to Morbius and Tyrese Gibson will play an FBI agent on the vampire’s blood red trail.
Morbius is the beginning of Sony’s big plans to create their own Marvel universe based on Spider-Man characters. Following the success of the MCU from Disney and Warner Bros’ DCEU, the rival studio wants to use its Marvel rights to their full potential and reportedly has the next eight years mapped out with Spider-Verse movies and television shows underway.
Jared Leto’s vampire character is set to hit theaters on July 31, 2020. Are you excited to see him take on his next villainous role this time from Marvel? Sound off in the comments below.