It looks like Sony has even more projects on the burner for their Spider-Man spin-off movie universe than we previously thought. Developed in secret, it's come to light that the studio is moving forward with a movie based on Morbius the Living Vampire. According to a new report, the script has been submitted and the studio is ready to get it in front of a camera, which likely means finding a director to tackle the project. No director's names were brought up in this initial report about the next Spider-Man spin-off for Sony's standalone Marvel Universe.
The movie, simply titled Morbius, was written by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, who most recently wrote the live-action Power Rangers movie for Saban and Lionsgate. Their other credits include God's of Egypt, Dracula Untold and The Last Witch Hunter. So this seems to be in their wheelhouse. While no specific plot details have been provided, the movie will center on Morbius the Living Vampire, who started out as a Spider-Man villain, but eventually managed to become something of a hero in his own right. This movie, like Venom, which is now in production, and the forthcoming Silver and Black movie, will not be connected to Tom Holland's Spider-Man and the MCU.
In case you aren't familiar, Morbius the Living Vampire made his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #101. The issue is significant because it's the first issue not penned by Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee. Though a vampire by title, Morbius is not a vampire in the traditional sense. The character gained his thirst for blood, which needs to survive, after running experiments on himself in order to cure a rare blood disease. It had some pretty negative side-effects that turned him into a vampire of sorts. His bite often kills his victims, but unlike regular vampires, it doesn't turn them into vampires themselves.
Morbius possess the ability to fly and has superhuman strength. Following his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man, the character was given his own series for a time and was featured in other titles. He's a tragic character, but managed to redeem his initial bout of villainy by becoming a hero in his own right. Morbius was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. This is how the character is handled and portrayed in the world of Marvel Comics, but details on Sony's take have yet to be revealed and the studio has yet to comment on the Morbius movie at this time.
Marvel Studios and Sony struck a deal that allows for Spider-Man to be part of the MCU, but Sony still owns the rights to Spidey's entire rogues gallery of characters. As such, they've decided to make some spin-off movies using these characters that won't include Spider-Man in them. There's still a great many questions about how that's going to work, but a project like Morbius certainly doesn't need Spider-Man to function.
In the early days of comic book movies, Marvel's Blade was brought to the big screen and found modest success. Morbius represents something totally new for vampires and comic book movies, as he's a vampire created by sciences as opposed to the supernatural. The Hollywood Reporter makes no mention of a potential release date, but the project sounds like it's in the relatively early stages.