Jared Leto is taking the ball from Tom Hardy and attempting to continue the success of Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters franchise, after Spider-Man: Homecoming and its Venom spinoff film. Leto is starring in the first live-action adaptation of Morbius The Living Vampire, which is currently filming under the direction of Life and Safe House director Daniel Espinosa.
Leto recently sat down for an in-depth talk with Variety's The Big Ticket podcast, and dicussed why, of all characters within the Marvel Comics Universe, he's so thrilled to be playing Morbius in particular. Here's what he had to say:
"When I was a kid, I remember being at my grandmother's house in Louisiana and the original OG would come on and just being pretty transfixed as so many of us were when we saw that. And then the Anne Rice era was big for my brother and I. We passed those books around to each other."
To avoid confusion: the "OG" Leto refers to is probably one of the classic Dracula or vampire movies that would've aired in the 47-year-old actors younger heyday. Leto went on to describe the larger selection of vampire movies that affected him growing up, including Tony Scott's David Bowie vampire flick The Hunger from the '80s; Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula form the '90s, and the Korean film Thirst from the '00s.
Taken along with Leto's admitted fascination with Anne Rice's vampire chronicles novel series, it's clear that Leto is allured by the erotic undertones and heightened style-over-substance approach to the idea of vampirism that comes with the aforementioned works. The question is: does that the type of vampire movie Leto reveres match up to what Espinosa and Sony have in mind for Morbius?
Even though the film explores the idea of the divide between man and vampire, it is still, at its core, a comic book movie. Seeing what Sony did with Venom, it's hard to imagine the studio turning out anything that's even remotely like The Hunger or Thirst. After seeing how Leto's deep method acting approach to Suicide Squad ended up in the most divisive live-action Joker portrayal we've ever seen, a lot of fans are probably hoping he can just steer this Morbius performance nice and steady over the finish line.
...Then again, this is a vampire anti-hero who loves dressing in head-to-toe black leather, so maybe it really is more of Leto's speed?
Morbius hits theaters on July 31, 2020.
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