I’ve gotta hand it to Sony Pictures, as they really seem committed to their strange Spidey-verse. Not only do we have this fall’s Venom, but there’s Spike Lee’s Nightwatch and the slightly delayed Silver & Black coming, too.
Still, they surprised everyone with the late June announcement that they’d snagged Jared Leto for the title role in Morbius, with Safe House and Life director Daniel Espinosa set to helm. The news was particularly shocking as Leto’s already The Joker in Warner Bros’ DCEU and had been expected to reprise the role in various sequels – which are apparently still going ahead (though I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t).
Right now, Morbius remains an unknown quantity, although a new casting call may shed a bit of light on the film’s broad strokes. THS is reporting that the movie will pit Morbius against a villain who was formerly a friend – until his vampiric transformation. Apparently, they’re auditioning men between 30-40 years of age for what sounds like the role of Emil Nikos, who was both Morbius’ buddy and first victim.
They’re also searching for someone to play “an intelligent, cutthroat businesswoman,” which fans are predicting will be Morbius’ former fiancee Martine Bancroft. She cares for Morbius post-transformation and eventually becomes a vampire herself (though this doesn’t end particularly well for her). Apparently, Sony’s searching for actors of any ethnicity between ages 25-40 for the role.
Rumor is that the studio’s targeting a fall 2019 release date for Morbius, approximately one year on from Venom – perhaps staking (pun intended) the post-summer blockbuster lull as a time for their more R-rated superhero fare to breathe without having to worry about competing with PG-13 family friendly flicks. And with the aforementioned Venom currently looking like a worthy take on the brain-munching anti-hero, Sony might just prove the naysayers wrong and make this strange Spider-Man-less Spidey-verse concept work.