‘Morbius’ Producers Praise Star Jared Leto

Venom producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad, who next produce another Spider-Man-less spinoff in the Jared Leto-led Morbius, expect big things from the Suicide Squad star.

Fans can expect to start hearing more about the project “soon,” Tolmach told ComicBook.com. “We’re obviously working on Morbius now. That’s sort of next up for us.”

Tolmach said he expects “awesomeness” from the Academy Award-winning actor, who famously took a method approach when unleashing his take on the Joker in Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad. “Just a similar level of intensity and charisma and devotion to the character.”

“And loving the character,” added Arad, a longtime producer on Marvel-inspired projects, from Blade to the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. Tolmach confirmed, saying Leto “loves the character.”

In the Marvel comic books, Michael Morbius was a “living vampire” and the sometimes-foe, sometimes-ally of Spider-Man. A Noble Prize-winning biochemist, Morbius found himself afflicted with a debilitating blood disorder — and his attempts to cure himself by way of an experimental treatment involving the use of vampire bats left him irreversibly changed into a blood-lusting, vampire-like creature complete with white skin and vicious fangs.

Rumored details about Morbius characterized the film as a “horror action” centered around Leto’s scientist Michael Morbius, who like his comic book counterpart attempts to cure his rare blood disease before inadvertently transforming himself into a living vampire. Now, disgusted by his own bloodlust, he’ll use his superhuman abilities to prey upon criminals he deems unworthy of life.

Safe House and Life director Daniel Espinosa directs from a script penned by Burk Sharpless (Power Rangers) and Matt Sazama (Lost in Space). Tolmach and Arad, who previously teamed on both Amazing Spider-Man movies, produce for the second project in “Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters,” Sony’s stab at a shared universe outside of the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe, home to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.

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That Sony-verse, launched with Venom, is planning solo features for other Spider-Man anti-heroes and enemies alike, with Black Cat, Silver Sable, and Kraven the Hunter eyed for their own spinoffs.

Sony Pictures has not yet staked a release date for Morbius. Venom, starring Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, and Michelle Williams, opens October 5.