Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writers: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Roy Thomas
Stars: Jared Leto, Michael Keaton, Adria Arjona
After years of delays, Sony’s Morbius will finally be released on April 1. But with a new blockbuster movie also comes the reactions of fans who got to see an early screening. And for the most part, the reactions are not good. Major complaints include iffy CGI, poor storytelling, and an uneven tone. Of particular note are the post-credit scenes, which one tweeter called “some of the WORST you’ve ever seen.” There isn’t much praise for lead Jared Leto, but the response to Matt Smith’s over-the-top villain seems to be positive.
Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Morbius is the latest in Sony’s Spiderverse (which, thus far, doesn’t feature Spider-Man Tom Holland, except for the post-credits scene of Venom: Let There Be Carnage). Leto plays Dr. Michael Morbius, a brilliant scientist who suffers from a rare blood disease. After transfusing himself, Morbius becomes a living vampire, cursed with bloodlust but enhanced senses and strength. Morbius confronts Smith’s Milo, a rich man who suffers the same treatment and uses his powers for evil.
While not as popular as the Green Goblin or Venom, Morbius is one of Spider-Man’s most notable villains. Called “The Living Vampire” to avoid censorship by the Comics Code Authority, Morbius first appeared in 1971’s Amazing Spider-Man #101, written by Roy Thomas and penciled by Gil Kane. Morbius threatened Spider-Man over the years, even sinking his teeth into the web-crawler a few times (or, in the case of the ’90s animated series, he stuck his sucker on Spidey). But Morbius became more of an anti-hero during the “Rise of the Midnight Sons” crossover with Ghost Rider and Blade, even headlining a solo series that ran for 32 issues.
Sony just had big box office hits with “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” so it makes sense that it would try to give “Morbius” a longer track at a time when the public The health situation is complicating things. The studio is also planning another standalone spinoff based on Spidey villain Kraven the Hunter, so the stakes are high. Sony is licensing the Spider-Man character and the rights to his various Marvel antagonists and allies in a deal that predates the comics company’s main move into movie-making and its acquisition by the Walt Disney Company.
Deadline hears that one factor behind the push was Sony’s huge (continued) success with Spider-Man: No Way Home, which established itself as the highest-grossing movie of 2021 since its December 17 debut. Tom Holland’s picture has so far grossed over $1.37 billion worldwide and now he looks to be continuing to do big business on screens previously saved for Morbius.
The latest superhero movie would have opened on its earlier date alongside IFC Films’ crime drama Clean, starring Adrien Brody, Glenn Fleshler, Richie Merritt and Chandler DuPont; the music documentary Charli XCX: Alone Together by Bradley Bell and Pablo Jones-Soler at Greenwich Entertainment; and the musical adaptation of Joe Wright’s Cyrano, starring Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett and Kelvin Harrison Jr., for MGM and United Artists Releasing. He is now slated to open against Focus Features’ horror drama You Won’t Be Alone, starring Noomi Rapace and Alice Englert; Universal’s Jo Koy comedy Easter Sunday, also starring Jimmy O. Yang, Tia Carrere, Tiffany Haddish and Lou Diamond Phillips; and the STX Entertainment thriller The Contractor, headed by Chris Pine.
In Morbius, from director Daniel Espinosa, Leto plays the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering the same fate, Dr. Morbius takes a desperate gamble. Although at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness is unleashed within him. Will good overcome evil, or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new impulses?
Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal and Tyrese Gibson also star in the film, based on Marvel Movies Comics, which Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless adapted from their own film story. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and Lucas Foster produced, with Louise Rosner and Emma Ludbrook serving as executive producers.
Watch Morbius 2022 Official Trailer: