Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach spill details on Morbius the Living Vampire film
Thanks to the success of Venom, it appears Sony’s plans for its own personal Spider-Man universe may actually come to fruition. In a recent interview with Collider, Sony producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach revealed details on the next villain they plan to bring to the screen, namely Morbius the Living Vampire.
Right out of the gate both producers confirmed that actor Jared Leto has indeed signed on for the role, marking his second venture into comic book territory after playing the Joker in Suicide Squad, and revealed, “more or less” a potential February start date for filming.
“Oh yeah,” said Arad. “This is the great thing for us now, that an actor like him, and an actor like Tom [Hardy] wanted to have their own character. But the character they love. Both of them, very hard to get them to do a movie. You actually cannot get them. We went in, we sat with them, and everybody told us, “Oh, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba.” Nothing. That’s what he wanted to do.”
Arad then went on to talk a little about Morbius, explaining that the needs to the story will determine whether it receives and R rating. Well, that and his grandkids.
“But at least for me, I have grandkids, kids, whatever, all these things, and some of these movies, they’re dying to see. You know? As I took my grandson, seven, to the recording session of Venom. And he had the time of his life.”
Tolmach agreed: “I don’t think there’s a rule written somewhere in stone that all of them have to be one thing, alright? I think what Avi’s saying is right. I think we’ve all talked about, “Well, if one of these presents itself in a way…” Look, we have all seen, as you’ve said, the R-rated versions of these movies now working. So, that’s out there. You can succeed to a staggering degree.”
Both producers pointed to Venom as a character that wasn’t compromised by a PG-13 rating.
“We didn’t compromise anywhere,” Arad said. “You saw the movies. There is no compromise. That was Venom … You know what? When you hear Venom…forget Venom. When you hear, Carnage, the only thing you can think of is R. But, if you know his story, if you really know the comic, there’s no R here. He’s a tortured soul. It’s not about what he does, because we never have to show the knife going from here to there, and the blood is pouring. What you have to show is, what is the motivation? Was he born like that, or it’s someone we should feel for, because if you are succeeding to make a villain someone you can feel for, jackpot.”
The Morbius film will be directed by Daniel Espinosa (Life, Safe House) from a script by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (Netflix’s Lost in Space), based on the Marvel Comics character created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane who first appeared in 1971’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #101.
Originally Dr. Michael Morbius, the scientist character tried to cure his rare blood disease only to become afflicted with a form of vampirism that gave him superior strength, fangs and a taste for the red stuff. The character fought Spider-Man several times, though eventually earned several of his own books where he had a more heroic arc. He has an ongoing feud with the character Blade the Vampire Hunter in the comics. Morbius previously appeared on TV in Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Ultimate Spider-Man Vs The Sinister Six, and was originally earmarked to make his film debut in Blade until his cameo was deleted and plans to make him the villain in Blade II scrapped.
Arad and Tolmach will produce the Morbius movie with Lucas Foster, with Sony executive Palak Patel overseeing for the studio. This is one of several Spider-Man spin-off projects in development at Sony, with Venom and animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse already set for release this year. There’s also the recently announced Silk movie, as well as Silver and Black and Nightwatch, the latter of which has Spike Lee interested in directing.
This isn’t Leto’s first flirtation with playing a bloodsucker, as in 2016 when director Josh Boone was publicly courting the actor to star as Lestat in a reboot of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire. Leto is still expected to return to the DC realm as The Joker in Suicide Squad 2, as well as a solo Joker movie set in the DCEU that is currently in development.
Meanwhile, the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home is being written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, with Jon Watts returning as director on the Sony and Marvel film. Scheduled for July 5, 2019, the follow-up will feature Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in his Junior year at Midtown School of Science and Technology following the events of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and its summer 2019 sequel, which will also feature Holland as Spider-Man. Michael Keaton’s Vulture will return, while Jake Gyllenhaal has signed to play the main antagonist Mysterio.
Are you excited about a potential Morbius the Living Vampire movie? Which Spider-Man characters would you most like to see hit the silver screen? Let us know in the comments below!