New Marvel movie Morbius is heading to cinemas very soon. It is being advertised with the tagline, ‘the line between hero and villain will be broken’, which gives a big clue as to the nature of the protagonist – played by Jared Leto.
The film features the Marvel comics character Morbius, the Living Vampire. Leto stars as Dr Michael Morbius – a scientist suffering from a rare blood disease.
His desperate search for a cure leads him to embark on a dangerous experiment that afflicts him with a form of vampirism. He gains superhuman abilities – with none of the superstitious weaknesses associated with vampires – although he does have to feast on the blood of the living to survive.
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That conflict of being a hero with a thirst for blood is at the center of the film. And it is what attracted Leto to the part.
He told IGN: “Morbius, the man, is a pretty complex character. That’s what I was really attracted to.
“This is somebody who has a lot of conflict in his life…Here’s someone who’s been afflicted with this horrendous disease and has had all kinds of challenges and has been in pursuit of this cure.
“And then all of a sudden has this power and this physical strength, which is all incredible, but there is a flip side to it, as well. There’s a dark side. So that battle between the light and dark is something that he fights throughout the film.”
Jared Leto stars in the title role. The 50-year-old actor rose to fame in the ’90s appearing on TV series My So-Called Life. Numerous film roles followed – including Fight Club, American Psycho and Requiem for a Dream.
He won an Oscar for his role as a transgender woman in 2013 film The Dallas Buyers Club and he is no stranger to comic book roles, having starred as The Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad.
Matt Smith stars as Milo, a rich boy originally named Lucien who suffers from the same rare blood disease as Morbius – but who embraces the darkness and becomes a villain when gaining the same abilities. Smith is perhaps best known for his roles as the 11th incarnation of the Doctor in BBC favorite Doctor Who and Prince Philip in Netflix series The Crown.
Adria Arjona stars as Martine Bancroft, another scientist and Morbius’ fiancee. The 29-year-old Puerto Rican actress played the role of Dorothy Gale in the Oz book adaptation of Emerald City and role of Anathema Device in the TV adaptation of Good Omens.
The movie also stars Jared Harris (Mad Men, The Crown) and Tyrese Gibson (Transformers).
Morbius release date
Morbius was one of the many projects delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. It was scheduled to be released in cinemas in January but was pushed back and is not set to be out in the UK on Friday 1 April.
A final trailer for the movie was released last month – giving a dramatic insight into the character and the tone of the movie. Featuring one of Marvel’s most intriguing creations and an impressive cast, it is sure to have whetted the appetite of fans.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.