Sony has revealed the first trailer for Morbius the Living Vampire. This is the latest entry in Sony's budding Spider-Man spin-off universe. Since the studio still has the big screen rights for a number of Marvel characters connected to the webslinger, they're making the most of it and cherry-picking characters that they feel can carry franchises on their own. In this case, we're seeing the so-called Living Vampire brought to life, with Jared Leto taking on the main role.
As we see in the first Morbius trailer, Daniel Espinosa is in the director's chair for the Marvel Comics adaptation. Some of Espinosa's previous credits include Safe House and Life. Oddly enough, at one point, many thought Life was going to turn out to be a secret prequel to Venom, which kicked off Sony's Spidey spin-off universe. That didn't prove to be the case. Matt Sazama (Gods of Egypt) and Burk Sharpless (The Last Witch Hunter) penned the screenplay. Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Jared Harris (Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows), Adria Arjona (Good Omens) and Tyrese Gibson (The Fate of the Furious) round out the cast.
Jared Leto is no stranger to comic book movies. The Oscar-winning actor previously played the Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad. The DC Comics adaptation proved to be a big financial success, but critically, not so much. Warner Bros. has shifted strategy with DC Films in the years since and it seems Let's Joker has, more or less, been sidelined. And word on the street is he wasn't too thrilled with Joaquin Phoenix's Joker movie. So, instead, he took his business to Sony to bring a very different comic book character to life. Though, in this case, a much more obscure character.
For those who may not be familiar, Morbius made his debut in the pages of Marvel Comics in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 and was created Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. The issue was the first in the book's not to be penned by the late Stan Lee. Though he's dubbed The Living Vampire, the character isn't a vampire in the traditional sense. Dr. Michael Morbius gained his vampiric qualities after conducting a series of experiments intended to cure a rare blood disease. Those experiments went horribly wrong. He grew fangs and developed a need for blood to survive. However, his victims do not become vampires after they're bitten.
Venom went on to become a huge surprise hit in 2018, grossing $856 million at the global box office. The movie was panned by critics, but audiences seemed to largely disagree. Tom Hardy is currently filming a sequel directed by Andy Serkis, which is expected to arrive in theaters later this year. The studio quickly hatched plans for further movies. Other characters with projects in development include Nightwatch, Kraven the Hunter, Madame Webb, Black Cat and Silver Sable. Morbius is set to hit theaters on July 31 from Sony Pictures. Be sure to check out the new trailer for yourself.