Jared Leto to Star in Spider-Man Spinoff 'Morbius' Movie, Daniel Espinosa to Direct

Sony's Marvel Universe has found its Morbius, the Living Vampire in Suicide Squad's Joker, Jared Leto.

The Academy Award-winning actor will play Michael Morbius, the tragic antihero that is the subject of one of Sony's upcoming Spider-Man spinoff movies.

Also announced is that Scandinavian filmmaker Daniel Espinosa will direct the feature. His past work includes Safe House and Life. He'll direct from a script by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, who developed the Lost in Space reboot for Netflix. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, and Lucas Foster are producing. Palek Patel is overseeing the film for Sony.

In the Marvel Comics universe, Michael Morbius was a scientist searching for a cure to his own rare blood disease. An experiment gives him characteristics similar to that of a mythical vampire, including a thirst for blood and an aversion to sunlight, though he tries to control his impulses on only feed on criminals.

Leto played the Joker in DC Films' Suicide Squad and was believed to be returning in future spinoffs. It is unclear if this development has any bearing on Leto's future in the DC Extended Universe.

Morbius was created by Roy Thomas and designed by Gil Kane. The character first appeared in the Marvel Comics universe in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 in 1971. He was originally one of Spider-Man’s enemies, but over time was redeemed and become more of an anti-hero, starring in his own series.

Some rumored details about the film came out recently. According to the report, the film is the “Horror action story of a scientist who, in trying to find a cure for a rare blood disease, accidentally transformed himself into a living vampire who, though disgusted by his own bloodlust, chooses to prey upon criminals he deems unworthy of life.”

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Morbius is being developed as part of Sony's Marvel Universe, which begins with Tom Hardy's Venom this October. The films in Sony’ Marvel Universe will feature characters in the extended Spider-Man mythology and are said to skew more towards adult audiences than those of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Other films in development for this universe include Silver and Black, which will feature Silver Sable and Black Cat, and Nightwatch.

What do you think of Jared Leto being cast as Morbius? Does it mean anything for his role as the Joker? Are you excited for Sony's Marvel Universe films? Let us know what you think in the comments section.