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Morbius' Matt Smith Claims MCU Star Karen Gillan Convinced Him To Join The Jared Leto Movie

Matt Smith in Morbius and Karen Gillan in Avengers: Endgame, pictured side by side.
(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures Entertainment)

This week, previous Doctor Who star Matt Smith joins the world of Marvel/Sony movies with his role in the upcoming comic book movie Morbius. Coincidentally enough, Smith’s former partner in time travel Karen Gillan has been somewhat of a fixture in the MCU proper, ever since originating the role of Nebula in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. What’s not so coincidental is that it wasn’t for Gillan’s experiences with comic movies, we might not have seen Matt Smith make the jump himself, as she convinced him to do the Jared Leto movie.

Smith himself admitted as much to Digital Spy, while promoting Morbius in a recent sit down. As one of the latest newcomers to the world of comic movies, his new duties are obviously attracting the eyes of loyal admirers that have previously followed his work. Matt Smith’s past had a huge effect on his future, fittingly enough, as he described his Marvel movie origin story: 

I phoned Karen and said, 'What's it like? Have you had a nice time?' and she's like, 'Yeah, go for it, do it'. So I did. Good old Kaz. I mean, she's a seasoned pro, she's made about 9 of them.

To be fair and correct, Karen Gillan has only done six movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even that figure is only accurate when including her upcoming appearances in both Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Six movies in the MCU is still quite a bit of experience for Gillan, especially when it comes to the woman formerly known as Amy Pond being called to advise her former Doctor on signing on for another big franchise.

Two and a half seasons of adventures saw Matt Smith and Karen Gillan working as part of the Doctor Who ensemble that saved all of time and space. Gillan would leave the series in 2013, right before her Guardians of the Galaxy role dealt her into the Marvel Movies; while Smith’s departure from the series would arrive later that very year. 

It was a work experience that led to a friendship so strong that Matt Smith would make that important Morbius related phone call mentioned above. That bond was something even the fans could feel, as Matt Smith and Karen Gillan's brief reunion in "The Time of The Doctor" said goodbye to the Eleventh Doctor with tearjerking beauty: 

Looking back on his own experiences with franchise filmmaking, the quest for extra encouragement may have come from another place as well. Matt Smith isn’t a stranger to big ticket properties, while at the same time not having the best luck with his participation. In previous years, Smith’s Star Wars sequel trilogy role disappeared into thin air, and a potential trilogy gig starting in Terminator Genisys never got off the ground. Being approached with something as big as Morbius may have had him gun shy at first, but thanks to Karen Gillan’s feedback, Matt smith took the role.

If Jared Leto’s claims that movie theaters depend on Marvel movies is any indication, Morbius might be another minted hit in the world of the pandemic box office. We’ll see what happens when this weekend’s theatrical results are tallied and reported. In the meantime, if you want to see what the competition looks like in a theater near you, the full listing of upcoming movies will allow you to make the most informed cinematic choice.

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.