Jared “Damaged” Leto is probably not the DCEU’s Clown Prince of Crime any longer. His supervillain’s not appearing in Birds Of Prey after his breakup with Harley Quinn, and Joaquin Phoenix pretty much took over the character, even if his Arthur Fleck was the focus of a 1980s-set Joker origin story. That’s okay! On the same day that Phoenix received an Oscar nomination for that role, Leto is just fine. He’s moving on, and he’s making his official debut in the Sony Marvel Universe after a moody teaser of his Michael Morbius, a brilliant biochemist who becomes The Living Vampire in a Spider-Man spinoff. The film shall simply be called Morbius, which will be an action-horror story about the character who hails from 1971’s Amazing Spider-Man #101 issue.
This trailer looks, you know, pretty decent? In other words, Leto comic-book-movie redemption might actually be in the cards. His Morbius is getting his day in the sun (sorry, not sorry) after Venom‘s resounding success means that it’s all box-office roses for characters associated with Spidey in the comics. We get an official tie-in directly with Tom Holland’s Sony Spider-Man movies during the last moments of the trailer with Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes/Vulture (apparently, at least!) asking Doc what’s up (so we’re further along in the timeline than Far From Home). In addition, Jared Harris and Matt Smith preview their roles, but the true curiosity for everyone must have been how well Leto would vamp out. And … well?
We obviously won’t know until release time how convincing Leto’s blood-sucking abilities will be onscreen, but I’m reasonably convinced by this trailer that things might go alright. Then again, I’ve wondered over the past few decades that Leto might be a real-life vampire, given that the guy still looks like a spring chicken, long after his Jordan Catalano days. Naturally, he’s bearing teeth rather than Tom Hardy’s CGI tongue, and Morbius is all gloomy, existential, and blood-sucking after failing to cure his own blood disorder. In the comics, he’s not a friend of Spider-Man, and Tom Holland has not been reported for an appearance in this Sony flick. That’s bad news for Peter Parker fans, but this movie should still perform nicely after Venom injected the Spidey spinoff path.
Morbius arrives in theaters on July 31, 2020.