Based on the comic books created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane in 1971, the antagonist’s origin story follows Michael Morbius (Leto), a biochemist in search of a cure for his rare blood disease. However, he accidentally injects himself with vampirism, giving him bat-like superpowers like echo-location and an insatiable thirst for blood. “Lost in Space” co-creators Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless wrote the script.
The vengeful vampire appeared periodically throughout the Marvel franchise. He made his first appearance in a 1971 issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and was eventually brought back in the 1992 series, “Morbius, the Living Vampire.” The revival produced 32 issues before ending in 1995.
Adria Arjona stars alongside Leto as the villain’s fiancee Martine Bancroft. Jared Harris, Matt Smith, and Tyrese Gibson round out the cast. Smith will portray Loxias Crown, a man with the same blood disease as Morbius. Harris, though his character remains unnamed, is slated to play the mentor of Morbius.
“Spider-Man” producer Avi Arad serves as producer alongside Matt Tolmach and Lucas Foster. Palak Patel will supervise the film on behalf of Sony.
Directed by Daniel Espinoza, “Morbius” will premiere on July 31.