Pseudo-vampire Jared Leto’s superpowers seem a little out of hand in Sony’s latest “Morbius” trailer. See the video above.
“I would do anything to save a life. But I don’t know what I’m capable of, ”Leto’s Morbius said at one point in the trailer. Moments later, Jared Harris’ character (who is a mentor to Morbius) asked him, “Are you here to heal the world?” Or to destroy it? Fair question, as much of the trailer finds Morbius exploring the extent of his powers – while trying to harness them at the same time.
Daniel Espinosa directed “Morbius” from a screenplay by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and Lucas Foster produced the film with Palak Patel supervising for the studio.
Morbius (properly speaking “Morbius the Living Vampire”) was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane and first appeared in issue 101 of “The Amazing Spider-Man” in 1971. In the comics, Michael Morbius is a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who turns into a vampire while attempting to cure a rare blood disease with a highly experimental approach involving electroshock therapy… and vampire bats.
As a “pseudo-vampire,” Morbius does not possess all of the powers of a true vampire and is not subject to all of the traditional limitations and weaknesses of one, according to Marvel lore.
He must digest blood to survive and has a strong aversion to light, like most vampires. He also has the ability to fly and has superhuman strength, speed, and healing abilities. But while its bite tends to be fatal, its victims don’t necessarily become vampires themselves. And unlike other bloodsucking demons, he’s alive and well. Essentially think of it as the electric car version of the supernatural, normally dead killing machines: probably still not that great for the world, but if you absolutely have to use them, this is definitely the best option.
During his first appearances, he was a horror-themed Spider-Man foe (during a time when horror comics were enjoying a resurgence in popularity) and was ultimately transformed into a tragic antihero, his appearances focusing on his struggle to find a cure for his condition. He also ran into, and was even killed by, Blade (don’t worry, he came back to life later), and later became friends with Jack Russell (aka Werewolf by Night). He also spent some time being an uneasy hero, working alongside Doctor Strange and Ghost Rider, among other heroes.
But, we hear you asking, is there any chance Morbius will appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since he is, after all, originally an enemy of Spider-Man? Sorry guys, we have no idea.
The problem lies with the complex deal that allowed Spider-Man to appear in the MCU in the first place – essentially a shared custody agreement in which Sony retained full control over many of Spider-Man’s auxiliary characters in the hands of Sony and not in the MCU or connected to the Spider-Man films. And this deal was so precarious that it completely fell apart for a few months in 2019, right after the release of “Far From Home”.
Fortunately, Marvel and Sony fixed things up pretty quickly with a new deal that not only made “Spider-Man: No Way Home” possible, but also hired Spidey in an additional MCU movie. And perhaps as a result, this separation between the Sony Church and the Marvel State could blur a bit. The post-credits scene from “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” suggests quite clearly that the weird multiverse stuff happening in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” will bring Venom (Tom Hardy) into the MCU, at least briefly. So who knows, maybe Jared Leto can dip his toes in the MCU water at some point as well.
Morbius has almost reached the big screen before. In 2000, while Arad was CEO of Marvel Studios, the company struck a deal with Artisan Entertainment to turn at least 15 Marvel superhero franchises into live-action movies, TV series, live-action movies, or Internet projects. Morbius would have been part of the franchises.
“Morbius,” which stars Jared Leto, Tyrese Gibson, Jared Harris and Matt Smith, is set to hit theaters on January 28, 2022.