Jared Leto might have an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and even four MTV Music Video Awards in his trophy cabinet, but he’s not the first name that comes to mind when you think of an actor who could headline a comic book blockbuster. The 49 year-old is known for his intense preparations for every role he plays, sometimes going to extreme lengths in the process, but he’s not exactly what you’d call a proven draw.
If anything, he’s got a terrible track record when it comes to big budget movies. His Joker in Suicide Squad was panned by a large section of critics and fans, Oliver Stone’s misguided passion project Alexander bombed at the box office and Blade Runner 2049 underwhelmed from a commercial perspective, even though it won widespread acclaim.
However, despite turning 50 this year, Leto appears intent to reinvent himself as a blockbuster leading man, with Morbius set to arrive in January 2022, while he’s also gearing up for Disney’s Tron: Ares. In a recent interview, the Panic Room star revealed that being the focal point of a superhero movie brings plenty of pressure, and he readily admitted that he’s never taken center stage in a project of this scale before.
“It’s a big, fun movie filled with action. It’s a brilliant doctor, a researcher, who starts off trying to find a cure for a very rare disease that he has and about 1,000 other people in the world have. I was interested in this role because he goes on this journey from dying to finding a cure for this disease and becoming incredibly healthy, and then having things change in a way that he becomes monstrous. So, it’s a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, which is of course a classic role.
It’s a pressure cooker. You have a clock ticking. They’re expensive films. And so, all of the decisions and the time to make those decision are a little bit more heated and so it can be a little more stressful. I think it’s more common with these big movies, you don’t really start with a gem of a script. You start with a hope and a dream and an idea of something. And you all try to work as hard as you can, in this given amount of time, to make it as good as it can be. And I think it’s the first time I’ve ever starred in a big movie like this in my entire career, so it was new territory. I generally hide out in the shadows.”
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Morbius was named as one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2021 before it was delayed to next year, but based on some of the more incredulous reactions, there are plenty of people who don’t seem to agree. Either way, it’s a huge gamble for the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters, one that could go a long way to determining the viability and longevity of the studio’s latest attempt at using their back catalogue of Marvel heroes to launch a shared mythology.