“Morbius” Spider-Man spin-off — can Jared Leto swing back?

Morbius dir. Daniel Espinosa 2020

Early Morbius footage reveals Jared Leto in character, but it's clear that this is a pivotal moment for the actor.

The Morbius movie starring Academy Award-winning actor Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club, Requiem For a Dream) already has our attention due to the casting alone. However, the deeper you look, the more fascinating this forthcoming project appears to be. Let's take a closer look...

Morbius, the Living Vampire, otherwise known as Dr. Michael Morbius was created by Roy Thomas and first appeared as a villain in Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man issue 101 in October 1971. Funnily enough, after numerous live-action Spider-Man adaptations, we have yet to see an actor tackle the complex role of this horror-tinged antihero. Now, we're finally set to witness him on the big screen, portrayed by Leto.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Life) the film will usher in the origin story of Morbius, a biochemist who - in attempts to cure his own rare blood disease - accidentally becomes a vampire. He's perhaps one of the more intriguing characters to inhabit Spider-Man's universe, and although he's appeared across the comics, video-games and animated shows, it's strange that we haven't already seen a live-action interpretation. As it's been such a long time coming, it was inevitable that a range of talent would flock to the project once announced. Adria Arjona (True Detective), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) and more have already attached themselves to it, and more recently, we've caught a revealing glimpse of Leto on set. 

It's great to see that the ball is really rolling on this one for a July 31, 2020 release date. After all, Jared Leto really needs it; is this the most important role of his career? Of course, you can argue that his earlier roles were the most important, as without them he wouldn't have been recognised and swept up into Hollywood. However, when one considers just how tragically disappointing his portrayal of the Joker was in David Ayer's Suicide Squad, he may have to prove himself to some of his once-adoring fans. 

There's no denying that Leto is a phenomenal actor, but what he did with the iconic Batman villain is just baffling, and after the film premiered much of the spotlight was on him and his explanations. If Morbius ends up being a misfire, we could see Leto take a huge blow and retreat into Thirty Seconds to Mars - his band - for quite some time. It would be a total shame, but as things are shaping up, Morbius could be the breakthrough hit that Leto needs. 

In other news, are the MCU and DCEU finally in harmony?

Have something to tell us about this article?