Jared Harris has joined the cast Sony’s “Morbius,” which will star Jared Leto as the titular Marvel comic book villain turned antihero, an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.
Harris’ role is being kept under wraps.
“Morbius” is one of several projects being developed by Sony based on characters from the “Spider-Man” comics. The franchise paid dividends for the studio in 2018 with “Venom,” which grossed $855 million worldwide, and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which grossed $327 million and earned a Best Animated Feature Oscar last week. Both films have sequels in the works.
Daniel Espinosa will direct the film from a script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and Lucas Foster are producing with Palak Patel overseeing for the studio.
The Morbius character was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane and first appeared in “The Amazing Spider-Man” issue no. 101 in 1971. In the comics, Michael Morbius is a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who is transformed into a vampire while attempting to cure a rare blood disease with a highly experimental approach involving electroshock therapy… and vampire bats.
As a “pseudo-vampire,” Morbius does not possess all the powers of an actual vampire, and isn’t subject to all the traditional limitations and weaknesses thereof, according to Marvel lore.
He must digest blood to survive and has a strong aversion to light, like most vampires. But he also has the ability to fly, and superhuman strength, speed and healing abilities. His bite tends to be lethal, but his victims do not necessarily become vampires themselves.
Morbius almost made it to the big screen before. In 2000, when Avi Arad was president and CEO of Marvel Studios, the company entered into an agreement with Artisan Entertainment to turn at least 15 Marvel superhero franchises into live-action films, television series, direct-to-video films or internet projects. Morbius would have been among the franchises.
Harris, best known for his roles on AMC’s “Mad Men” and Netflix’s “The Crown,” is repped by ICM, Gateway Management and Independent.
Deadline first reported the news.