BREAKING: Jared Leto and director Daniel Espinosa are being set by Sony for Morbius, a Spider-Man Universe spinoff based on the Marvel Comics antihero Morbius the Living Vampire. Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, creators of Netflix’s Lost in Space, wrote the script.
Leto, who played the iconic character The Joker in DC’s Suicide Squad and has been mentioned for a bunch of potential Joker-centric spinoffs, here will play Dr. Michael Morbius, a biochemist who in an attempt to cure a fatal blood disease injects himself with a treatment serum derived from bats. He becomes the anti-hero Morbius. He has all the qualities of a vampire, including a taste for human blood. The character originated in the ’70s Marvel Comics as a Spider-Man nemesis in The Amazing Spider-Man #101, but he evolved into his own freestanding comic hero as the decades unfolded.
Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach will produce with Lucas Foster. Palak Patel will oversee for Sony.
Espinosa last directed the sci-fi pic Life, and before that Child 44 and Safe House.
This becomes the latest attempt by Sony to broaden out its Spider-Man universe, which includes the Tom Hardy-starrer Venom, with another in the works that focuses on two other anti-heroes, Black Cat and Silver Sable, in the spinoff pic Silver and Black.
Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige ran point on Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home. I don’t believe Feige has oversight on the spinoffs.
Leto is repped by CAA and Untitled; Espinosa is WME, Magnolia and attorney Warren Dern; the scribes are ICM Partners and SMGS.