Jared Letois sinking his teeth into a new role…
Sony’s Columbia Pictures has released a teaser trailer for Morbius, starring the 48-year-old part-Spanish American actor/singer as the Marvel Comics horror character who dates back to 1971.
For the studio, Morbiusis part of a mining expedition into the unexplored corners of the Spider-Man universe, an initiative that has already produced a sleeper hit in the review-proof Venom with Tom Hardy.
Morbius is another horror-tinged bad guy plucked from the decades of published Spider-Man adventures and given a tailored stand-alone screen story that doesn’t rely on Peter Parker as a protagonist.
The most intriguing and unexpected element of the teaser: Oscar-winner Michael Keaton pops up in the preview reprising the role of Adrien Toomes, aka the Vulture, the now-imprisoned tech-scavenging villain from Spider-Man: Homecoming. Toomes presence in the trailer represents the first major bridge between the Sony expanded Spider universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Like many classic Marvel Comics characters (both villains and heroes), the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius is a figure of affliction — an outsider soul whose superhuman abilities arrive packaged with tragedy and calamity.
The Morbiussynopsis from Sony: “Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder, and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. What at first appears to be a radical success soon reveals itself to be a remedy potentially worse than the disease.”
Leto won an Oscarfor portraying HIV-positive trans woman Rayon in Jean-Marc Vallée’s 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club and, with Suicide Squad in 2016, he joined the celebrated roster of actors who’ve portrayed the Joker on the big screen — a list that includes Joaquin Phoenix, the late Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romeroand voice actor Mark Hamill.
Daniel Espinosadirected the film, working off a script by Matt Sazama& Burk Sharplessand Art Marcum & Matt Hollowayand a story by Sazama & Sharpless.
Leto leads a cast that also features former Doctor Whostar Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson.
Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane, the lab-created bloodsucker first appeared as a Spider-Manvillain in a Halloween1971 issue and over the years has been given a solo spotlight as a fan-favorite and one of the few non-supernatural vampires in pop culture.
It is scheduled to be released on July 31, 2020