Jared Leto is about to undergo another monstrous transformation. After playing the Clown Prince of Gotham in Warner Bros. and DC’s Suicide Squad, the Oscar-winning actor has officially signed on to star in Sony’s Morbius, based on the Marvel Comics antihero Morbius the Living Vampire, EW has learned. Daniel Espinosa, the filmmaker behind the alien thriller Life and the Soviet mystery Child 44, will direct, from a screenplay by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, the showrunners of Netflix’s Lost in Space. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, and Lucas Foster will produce what is the latest expansion in Sony’s Marvel-licensed movies.
While Sony and Disney share custody of the Spider-Man: Homecoming movies, which star Tom Holland as web-slinger Peter Parker, the former studio has been building up a series of other movies based on the Spider-Man comics. Venom, with Tom Hardy as antihero journalist Eddie Brock, is one of them, and its trailer has been viewed more times than any Spider-Man-related trailer yet, according to ScreenCrush. With the character Morbius, we get another antihero. Dr. Michael Morbius was once a scientist attempting to cure himself of a rare blood disease. Instead, he ended up infecting himself with vampirism, bringing with it enhanced strength, fangs, and, of course, a thirst for blood. While Morbius has fought Spider-Man in the comics, he has also become more heroic as he deals with his bestial nature.
This marks Leto’s latest comic book movie role since portraying the Joker in Suicide Squad — a role he’s still set to return to in a standalone Joker film. The actor’s other recent credits include Blade Runner 2049 and Netflix’s The Outsider. Palak Patel will oversee the Morbius project for Sony. Other Marvel-related films in the works at the studio include Silver & Black (based on the characters Silver Sable and Black Cat) and the newly reported Silk movie.