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SYFY WIRE The Handmaid's Tale

Casting: Matt Smith in final talks for Morbius; Dustin Ingram joins Watchmen; The Handmaid’s Tale adds 2

By Jacob Oller

In casting news today, a genre legend is joining the Spider-Man spin-off movie based on the character Morbius, and two shows are adding actors to their cynical worldviews. Both of the latter additions bring fans closer to understanding the trajectory of two of TV’s most exciting projects.

First off, Variety reports that former Doctor Who star (and upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX actor) Matt Smith is in "final talks" to join Jared Leto for the Morbius spin-off film. Sony is behind this new venture into exploring Spider-Man characters (without Spidey himself being present), which proved to be successful last year with Venom

The Morbius film will be directed by Daniel Espinoza, with a script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Leto will play the titular role, though details about who Smith would play are unknown. Variety says that it is a "major role" in the movie. 

The character of Morbius was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in 1971 for The Amazing Spider-Man #101. In many ways he's kind of a classic Spidey villain — he's a scientist who experiments on himself, things go wrong, and he turns nasty. The blood disease that he was trying to cure himself of (and the cure gone wrong) ends up bringing out certain vampire-like tendencies in him. Morbius got his own series in 1992, called Morbius, the Living Vampire

Switching over to television, we start with one project that hasn’t even debuted yet. Deadline reports that HBO’s highly-anticipated adaptation of Watchmen from Damon Lindelof has added Dustin Ingram in a key (but secret, of course) role for the series. The dark and gritty superhero pastiche puts Ingram smack in the middle of an all-star cast featuring Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Tim Blake Nelson, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II - none of whom have their roles announced yet.

Some of them are certainly playing superheroes, but we likely won’t know many details until the show’s nebulous 2019 premiere date grows closer.

Next, from a show that has actually aired, The Handmaid’s Tale is adding a pair of new actors that should be familiar to TV fans. According to a release, Happy! and Law & Order: SVU’s Christopher Meloni and The Haunting of Hill House’s Elizabeth Reaser will guest star as Commander Winslow and Mrs. Winslow on the dystopian show.

The award-winning Margaret Atwood adaptation has been essential in bolstering Hulu’s subscriber numbers and will enter its third season with a pair of fun new guest stars playing far less fun characters. Commander Winslow will host “the Waterfords on an important trip” while his wife will become “a friend and inspiration to Serena Joy.” There’s literally no way to tease anything about this show without sounding ominous, so fans will have no choice but to dread these details.

The Handmaid’s Tale will likely return in 2019, as production on the third season is currently underway.