When Sony announced that Jared Leto had been cast to play Morbius the Living Vampire in the studio's extension of the Spiderverse, people were shocked. But it was not just because Leto had been cast in yet another superhero movie after his method acting tirade on the set of Suicide Squad. Fans were mostly confounded that Sony was actually making a movie about Michael Morbius, a biochemist who tries to cure a blood disease and then catastrophically ends up turning into a vampire.
The “living vampire” isn’t a character fans know by heart, and no one was really clamoring for a faux-vampire story. To make things more confusing, most Morbius comics aren’t even about Morbius and Spider-Man; he tends to kick it with other spooky characters, like Ghost Rider and Man-Thing. The decision to choose Morbius as a character to base a film around isn’t bad, it’s just unexpected. The character has gone through a series of weird permutations that aren’t easy to encapsulate in one movie.
While his version of the Joker was divisive at best, he’s naturally suited to playing enigmatic and overly dramatic characters, so if nothing else comes of the Morbius film, he’s at least going to be fun to watch. If you know nothing about Hollywood’s newest vampire, check out this primer on Morbius, the living vampire.