Jared Leto explains how ‘Morbius’ enticed him back to the superhero genre


After a somewhat disastrous first foray into superhero cinema with his appearance as the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad, which was rectified somewhat by his Snyder Cut cameo, some may have assumed that Jared Leto would bow out of the genre entirely like his fellow DC co-star Ben Affleck — but it seems Morbius convinced him to try it again.

The upcoming film based on the Marvel comic book character of the same name centers around a world-renowned biochemist, Leto’s Michael Morbius, who attempts to cure his rare blood disease with an experimental treatment. The unfortunate result is that he accidentally becomes a bloodthirsty vampire.

The film takes place in the same universe as 2018’s Venom and sequel Let There Be Carnage, dubbed Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. Though Morbius started out in the comics as a villain opposite Peter Parker’s friendly neighborhood web-slinger, he’s painted as an antiheroic protagonist in this solo film.

Leto wasn’t terrible in the role of the DCEU’s Joker across Suicide Squad and Justice League, but his turn arguably pales in comparison to other legendary interpretations of the Clown Prince of Crime in cinema before and since.

Leto explained to Screen Rant that it was the prospect of starting “from scratch” with a character never before brought to life in the movies that intrigued him enough to want to do a superhero movie again.

“What I loved about this is it was an opportunity to bring the character to life for the very first time. And it’s harder and harder to do that, because a lot of these incredible, iconic characters have been portrayed. They’ve been realized before. So, that was really exciting to start from scratch.”

Though Leto received plenty of backlash for his portrayal of Joker, his second appearance in Justice League went down much better among fans. Rather than lacking in thespian chops, the perceived shortcoming of his performance more likely stemmed from being bookended by two Oscar-winning interpretations — Heath Ledger in 2008’s The Dark Knight and Joaquin Phoenix in 2019’s Joker.

We’ll have to see if the Oscar-winning Leto will bring his A-game to the big screen when Morbius hits theaters April 1.