Harris’ role is being kept under wraps. The television regular, who most recently appeared in The Expanse, The Crown, and The Terror, counts Allied, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and 2015’s Poltergeist remake to his credits.
The next film out of the Sony Universe of Marvel Characters launched with the Tom Hardy-led Venom, the Daniel Espinosa-directed Morbius centers around biochemist Dr. Michael Morbius (Leto) who is turned into a ‘living vampire’ when he incorporates bat DNA into a serum concocted in an attempt to cure a fatal blood disease.
Though disgusted by his own bloodlust, Morbius now elects to prey upon criminals he deems unworthy of life.
Producer Matt Tolmach, who backed Venom and the Amazing Spider-Man movies for Sony with Avi Arad, previously told ComicBook.com he expects “awesomeness” out of Leto, who ventured into superhero fare in Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad as the tattooed and maniacal Joker.
“Just a similar level of intensity and charisma and devotion to the character,” Tolmach said.
“And loving the character,” added Arad, prompting Tolmach to say Leto “loves the character” of Morbius, who in the Marvel Comics is a sometimes-villain, sometimes-anti-hero belonging to the Spider-Man franchise.
Tolmach and Arad later told Collider Leto was attracted to the project because, like Hardy, the Academy Award-winning actor wanted a comic book character to call his own.
“This is the great thing for us now, that an actor like [Leto], and an actor like Tom wanted to have their own character. But the character they love,” Arad said.
“Both of them, very hard to get them to do a movie. You actually cannot get them. We went in, we sat with them, and everybody told us, ‘Oh, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba.’ Nothing. That’s what he wanted to do.”
Arad added “good actors want to be different than what they are.”
Morbius is one of an estimated 900 Marvel Comics characters whose screen rights are held at Sony Pictures, who distribute Tom Holland’s solo Spider-Man franchise creatively produced by Disney-owned Marvel Studios. Sony is now eyeing another offshoot starring longtime Spider-Man foe Kraven the Hunter.
Also joining Leto and Harris are Adria Arjona (Pacific Rim Uprising) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who). Morbius is due out July 31, 2020.
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