It has been quite a busy week for comic book movie fans, as Avengers: Infinity War smashed the binding off of record books with an astronomical opening weekend. However, as Marvel and Disney celebrate the success of their decade-long plan to create a fully cohesive cinematic universe, other studios have already been making moves to build their own interconnected franchises.
Look no further than Sony Pictures, who reinvigorated their Spider-Man license by coming to an agreement with Marvel Studios to share the Peter Parker character. However, Sony’s ambitions were much greater than simply renting out the wallcrawler. In fact, they have already begun building their own cinematic universe which branches off from the cash cow, that has been informally dubbed Sony’s Spider-Verse. Later this calendar year we will be getting two new spin-offs, Venom and Spider-
All of that commotion fed our curiosity, which inspired us to crawl through the vent shafts of Sony Pictures and get the latest word about another project on the Spider-Verse assembly line, Morbius. The project is in the midst of pre-production with producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad already hiring screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who are fresh off of the first season of Netflix’s Lost in Space, to script the film. Last week, a report surfaced that Straight Out of Compton director F. Gary Gray had already turned down the project based on the Marvel Comics’ anti-hero after careful consideration. So while there is no new news to report on a new director, our source has let us know that they are looking to cast a male of an unspecified race, between the ages of 30-37 for the lead role. Even more interestingly, we also managed to get a glimpse of the working logline for the in-development film that gives the general direction of Morbius:
Horror action story of a scientist who, in trying to find a cure for a rare blood disease, accidentally transformed himself into a living vampire who, though disgusted by his own bloodlust, chooses to prey upon criminals he deems unworthy of life.
In the comics, Morbius aka Dr. Michael Morbius, became the “Living Vampire” after experimenting on himself. The procedure horribly disfigured the scientist, while he gained many superhuman abilities including flight, super-strength, and echolocation. However, Morbius’ experimentation unlocked an inhuman thirst for blood that the doctor can rarely resist. He has come into conflict with many in the Marvel universe, but it’s Spider-Man’s blood that’s proven to be one of the only temporary cures for his vampiric condition.
Many theorized that Venom would be Sony’s best opportunity to jump into the comic book horror sub-genre that still hasn’t found its footing. Earlier in the month Sony debuted the full trailer for Venom and it’s clear that the movie is hedging its bet and looks more family friendly than many were anticipating. The description of the upcoming adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Morbius the Living Vampire, seems to indicate that this could be the true horror-action film of the upcoming Spider-Verse slate.
There is still a lot more to uncover about the project and it should be interesting to gauge what effect the buildup and release of Venom will have on the pre-production for Morbius. We will be sure to bring you even more on Sony’s upcoming adaptation in the coming months.