Based on Roy Thomas and Gil Kane’s 1917 comic books, the latest superhero film in Sony’s Spider-Man universe follows Michael Morbius (Leto), a biochemist in search of a cure for his rare blood disease. After accidentally injecting himself with vampirism, Morbius receives bat-like powers like echo-location, flight — and of course, an insatiable thirst for blood.
In the trailer, Morbius travels to a mysterious island to cure his ailment, only to go missing for two months and return with vampire powers. There are also some connections to Sony’s fellow Spider-Man movies, including a cameo by Michael Keaton, who played Vulture in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and a Venom namedrop. The symbiote villain, played by Tom Hardy, teased a multiverse crossover in the post-credits scene of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.”
Morbius made his first Marvel comics appearance in the 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.
In a recent interview, Leto explained the complexity of Morbius’s character, saying, “He’s brilliant, he’s strong, he’s got some unique powers, but his powers seem to be out of his control. Leto also talked about the physicality: “I played Morbius at his most frail, and his most monstrous.”
“Morbius” is directed by Daniel Espinosa. “Lost in Space” co-creators Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless wrote the film’s script, and “Spider-Man” producer Avi Arad serves as a producer alongside Matt Tolmach and Lucas Foster.
“Morbius” is set to premiere on Jan. 28, 2022. Watch the new trailer below.