A few days after Joaquin Phoenix impressed the masses in the first (and Taxi Driver-esque) 1980s-set Joker teaser from Warner Bros., the DCEU’s current Clown Prince of Crime, Jared “Damaged” Leto, is showing off his official debut in the Sony Marvel Universe. He’s already teased a tiny glimpse of himself on set, but this is the first time we get a full-on glance at Leto as Michael Morbius, a brilliant biochemist who becomes The Living Vampire in a Spider-Man spinoff, simply called Morbius.
This looping video shows Leto in character, looking like he’s been binge-reading Albert Camus before blocking the smooth flow of traffic on a sidewalk. As humanity swirls around him, the caption reads, “Because no one else will walk this path…this place of shadows, where we do what must be done, no matter the cost. #MORBIUS.” Subtle.
The Morbius character hails from 1971’s Amazing Spider-Man #101 issue. Much like Venom’s tongue, he’s an antihero and a tragic one, all gloomy and blood-sucking after he turned himself into The Living Vampire while attempting to cure his own blood disorder. He also doesn’t get along at all with Spider-Man, although we’ve heard no word on whether a Spidey surfaces in this movie. The movie will, however, feature The Crown co-stars Matt Smith (Doctor Who) and Jared Harris (Mad Men) while exploring Sony’s Marvel Universe beyond the Tom Hardy-starring Venom. Oh, and here’s a really odd video that might add some context?
Or maybe this is simply Leto being Leto. On Valentine’s Day, he posted a shirtless Instagram clip while tagging #MORBIUS. He also tagged Jason Momoa, The Rock, and … Weird Al Yankovic? And are these his vampire noises? I really don’t know.
Morbius arrives in theaters on July 31, 2020.