One of Marvel’s most compelling and conflicted characters is heading to the big screen in April 2022, with Oscar winner Jared Leto taking on the role of enigmatic antihero Dr Michael Morbius.
Morbius, the upcoming instalment in the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters, was originally set for release in theatres in January 2022 with the tantalising synopsis reading; “Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil – or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?”
However, the film will now land in cinemas on April 1, 2022, thanks to — you guessed it — the latest edition of the COVID-19 pandemic, omicron.
This marks the sixth time the movie has been moved. The film was supposed to debut on July 10, 2020, but was halted by the pandemic. It was then scheduled to open on July 31, 2020, then March 19, 2021, then October 8, 2021, and finally moved January 21, 2022, before shifting yet again to the January 28 date and now April 1st.
Morbius also stars Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal and Tyrese Gibson. The trailer also offers us a quick look at Micheal Keaton in the film, with the actor reprising his antagonist role from 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture.
The first trailer for Morbius not only gives us a glimpse of Leto turning into a vampire but throws a couple of Easter Eggs out there too. Hinting at the connections to three different Spider-Man timelines, both Venom and The Amazing Spider-Man films get a mention.
Morbius is based on Roy Thomas and Gil Kane’s 1917 comic books with the character making his first Marvel comics appearance in the 1971 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, and was eventually brought back in the 1992 series, Morbius, the Living Vampire which ended in 1995.
His character arc revolves around his life following the medical experiments that left him with vampiric powers, including superhuman strength, agility, and enhanced healing, plus a lust for human blood.
“He’s brilliant, he’s strong, he’s got some unique powers, but his powers seem to be out of his control,” Leto told Variety. “I played Morbius at his most frail, and his most monstrous.”
In an interview at the start of 2021, Leto explained some of the complexities of taking on the role of the doctor, saying, “It was hard for me in some way, because I’m not used to playing roles that are a little bit closer to who I am, day in and day out.
“Dr Michael Morbius is a little closer to the way that I talk and the way that I behave.”
It seems the part of Morbius truly is the perfect fit for the Academy Award winner, who has previously revealed in interviews that he loved watching classic vampire movies as a child and an avid reader of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles novels.
His love of the genre never quite extended to the Twilight franchise, however, as Leto explained to Variety, “I was just too damn old. I was just too damn old, too old, too jaded, too over prepubescent ideas of romance.”
Check out the trailer for Morbius below.