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Marvel's Living Vampire is about to rise from his coffin in Sony's upcoming Morbius film starring Jared Leto. Appearing on Variety's Awards Circuit podcast, the actor teased out the comic book project, admitting that the role of Michael Morbius was almost like playing three characters rolled into one.
"It's not often that you have one of these Marvel characters that hasn't been put on the screen before, so it was an opportunity to create something brand-new and do something I don't often do, which is like the leading man," Leto said. "I haven't done that very much in my life, so that was a good challenge."
He went on to give a quick rundown of Dr. Michael Morbius, a brilliant, Stephen Strange-esque individual with a rare and terminal blood disease, who is determined to seek out a cure not only for himself, but also for others battling the same affliction.
"He finds a cure and goes from being this frail, sickly person, who's at the end of his life, to being strong and powerful. But then there's a catch," Leto added. "I get to play these three different characters in a way in this Jekyll and Hyde story that's just big and fun and sometimes a little scary, which, I think, is different for that genre. I'm excited about it; it should be a big, fun popcorn movie."
The "catch" to which the actor refers is the fact that Morbius is transformed into a vampire-like being that must consume blood in order to stay alive. This newfound lust for that sweet, sweet hemoglobin doesn't sit well with the doctor's fiancée, Martine Bancroft (Adria Arjona), or FBI agents Simon Stroud (Tyrese Gibson) and Alberto Rodriguez (Al Madrigal). So far, Sony has only released one trailer (which debuted last January) and a small teaser for Japan's Comic-Con (released in December).
"We had a phenomenal response to the trailer [and] people seem to be really excited about it and I am, too," Leto said.
Helmed by Daniel Espinosa (Life), Morbius co-stars Jared Harris (Chernobyl) as Morbius's mentor figure, while Matt Smith (Doctor Who) portrays the main antagonist, Loxias Crown, aka Hunger. However, the most exciting member of the cast is Michael Keaton's Adrien Toomes (aka Vulture), who helps bring Sony's own Marvel universe closer to the Disney-owned MCU.
Before letting go of Leto, Variety also asked him about the Joker's appearance in Zack Snyder's Justice League, which arrives on HBO Max in 2021.
"I may or may not be in [it]," he said. "I've heard the rumors, too, but we'll have to let Zack confirm or deny that one. I may or may not have shot something with Zack, but I love him. He is just a maverick and an incredible filmmaker. We get along great, have great chemistry, and I look forward to working with him again in the future. We have lots up our sleeves, Zack and I."
Originally slated to open in summer 2020, Morbius will now swoop into theaters on March 19, 2021. The screenplay was written by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless (co-writers of Dracula Untold) and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (co-writers of the first Iron Man movie).