There are a number of comic book movie stars who seemed fated for their roles. Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine… Actors like those two embodied their characters so well, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing them. And maybe we’re about to add one more to that select list. Morbius director Daniel Espinosa has declared he believes Jared Leto is so perfectly cast in the title role that it was “predestination” that he got the part.
In comments released via a press release from Sony, Espinosa summed up why Leto was the only person able to play Dr. Michael Morbius, a brilliant scientist who subjects himself to a dangerous treatment in an attempt to cure his rare blood disease, causing him to transform into a blood-sucking bat-human hybrid in the process.
“Jared Leto was the only actor that could really play the part of Morbius,” Espinosa said. “That wasn’t really a choice – it was predestination.”
While it remains to be seen whether superhero film fans will rank Leto’s performance as Morbius up there with the greats of the genre, it’s certainly true that the role seems supernaturally suited to the actor’s sensibilities. With his attraction to intense roles, Leto was never going to play a straightforward comic book protagonist in the Superman mold, so a darker anti-hero like the living vampire should definitely play to his strengths.
Of course, this isn’t the House of Gucci star’s first rodeo in the comics world, as Leto previously played the Joker in Suicide Squad and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but it is his first time portraying a lead. Leto was once even in the running for Marvel’s Doctor Strange, before that gig went to Benedict Cumberbatch. Seeing as Strange and Morbius have certain similarities, they’re both doctors who turn to supernatural means to fix themselves, maybe that supports Espinosa’s theory that Leto was destined for this movie.
Morbius finally enters theaters this April 1.