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With The Batman all set to swoop into theaters later this week, Sony Pictures jumped on that sweet, sweet SEO opportunity to showcase its own "Bat-Man" in the final trailer for director Daniel Espinosa's long-awaited Morbius film. In addition to the new trailer, the studio also premiered a small behind-the-scenes featurette, in which star Jared Leto chronicles the evolution of Michael Morbius from villain to antihero in the original comics. That's very helpful, given that the conclusory trailer really plays around with the question of whether Morbius is hero, villain, or something in between.
"For years before that Marvel was actually forbidden from using characters considered more on the supernatural side," states the actor, explaining why the Living Vampire was such a landmark character in his time. "So it was a really big deal when Morbius finally made his debut. He was part of a much darker turn within Marvel, one that fortunately, fans fully embraced. After all, everyone loves a good monster story."
This adventure in Sony's budding Spider-Verse co-stars Matt Smith (the main villain, Loxias Crown, sometimes known as Hunger), Adria Arjona (Michale's fianccée Martine Bancroft), Jared Harris (Michael's childhood mentor). Al Madrigal and Tyrese Gibson play Simon Stroud and Alberto Rodriguez, a pair of FBI agents investigating a string of mysterious killings that begin to occur shortly after Dr. Morbius's return to New York City. Michael Keaton is also confirmed to be making an appearance as Spider-Man: Homecoming antagonist, Adrien Toomes, aka Vulture.
Keaton's character actually has a pretty sizable presence in the final trailer (we haven't seen him since the pre-COVID footage), advising Michael to look at his powers as a gift and leave his old life behind. Meanwhile, Crown seems to be harboring some resentment towards humanity, declaring that fit and healthy members of the population should have to suffer the consequences of a chronic illness for a change.
Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in the early 1970s, Michael Morbius is a brilliant doctor who gains vampiric abilities (super-speed, echo location, and a taste for human blood) while trying to cure himself of a rare and fatal blood disease.
"It's a big, fun movie filled with action," Leto remarked during a Variety-facilitated conversation with Tenet's John David Washington early last year. "I was interested in this role because he goes on this journey from dying to finding a cure for this disease and becoming incredibly healthy. And then having things change in a way that he becomes monstrous. It's a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde [dynamic], which, of course, is just a classic role. But it was hard for me in some way because Michael Morbius is a little closer to the way that I talk and the way that I behave. There's something quite nice about that and the intimacy of sharing who you are with audiences."
Written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (a screenwriting duo known for Dracula Untold and 2017's Power Rangers reboot), the film was executive produced by Louise Rosner and Emma Ludbrook. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, and Lucas Foster are producers.
Originally scheduled to open in the summer of 2020, the project was pushed down the release calendar no less than six times, making it the most-delayed blockbuster of the COVID-19 pandemic. Barring any further delays, Morbius will finally arrive on the big screen Friday, April 1.