Sony will take the stage at San Diego Comic Con tonight, showing off Venom and, potentially, revealing some details about some of their upcoming “Spidey-verse” films. Among those films are the now-delayed Silver and Black, the Spike Lee-directed Nightwatch and Morbius, which recently saw Jared Leto cast in the titular role. We were able to dig up some details on the former which we are happy to bring to you today ahead of Sony’s panel.
Leto is taking the lead in the Daniel Espinosa picture, bringing to life Dr. Michael Morbius, who first appeared in 1971’s The Amazing Spider-Man #101. Morbius is a biochemist who in an attempt to cure a fatal blood disease injects himself with a treatment serum derived from bats. Morbius is transformed into a creature with vampire-like traits, including super strength and reflexes and a thirst for human blood. Morbius was never a willing villain, but his vampiric blood lust didn’t make it easy for him. Over the years, Morbius has been more hero than villain and has always searched for a cure to his transformation.
Sony is currently searching for two additional leads for the film. Espinosa, working from a draft from Mark Shazama and Burk Sharpless, will pit Morbius up against an unnamed villain who was once a friend, but turns on him following his transformation. The casting department was auditioning males, 30-40 years old for the role with actors Riz Ahmed and Rami Malek held in mind as prototypes for the role. It’s likely that this role will be an adaptation of Emil Nikos, Morbius’ friend and partner from the comics, who was also his first victim.
Morbius will also feature a female lead described as an “intelligent, cutthroat businesswoman.” That description isn’t much to go on, but if one were making a Morbius film, it would be hard not to include his one-time fiancee, Martine Bancroft. A former magazine publisher, Bancroft stayed with Morbius through his transformation, eventually became a vampire herself, died a time or two, had couple of resurrections and finally disintegrated after being staked by Morbius. Sony is looking at actresses of any ethnicity, ages 25-40 for this role.
We wouldn’t be entirely caught off guard if Sony announced these and other castings soon, perhaps even at their SDCC panel tonight because we’ve also learned that the studio is tentatively eyeing a November 2018 start to production. Though no release date has been set, a November start would allow them to target a fall 2019 release, similar to what they’re doing with this year’s Venom. Again, that’s a tentative date and with Silver and Black being shelved just weeks before it was scheduled to start, we aren’t putting any dates in our calendar just yet.
Stay tuned to That Hashtag Show for more on Morbius as it becomes available.