Sony Pictures has released the first trailer for the upcoming Morbius, adapted from the Marvel Comics title. Produced through Sony’s Columbia Pictures banner, it’s the first real horror character from the pages of Marvel.
Jared Leto stars as Dr. Michael Morbius, a biochemist who suffers from a rare blood disorder. In an attempt to find a cure, Morbius subjects himself to experiments to find a cure, only to become a superhuman vampire as a result. The character was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane. He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 in October 1971. Since then, he’s become an antihero of sorts, vowing to satiate his thirst for blood by attacking the corrupt and guilty.
Thomas was the first writer to take on Spider-Man after Stan Lee. “We were talking about doing Dracula, but Stan wanted a costumed villain. Other than that, he didn’t specify what we should do,” Thomas said in a 2009 interview. Originally, the concept would have had Morbius becoming a vampire through exposure to radiation, but the turn away from a supernatural origin was there from the beginning. Morbius was the first vampire character developed by Marvel after the Comics Code Authority ban on vampires was lifted.
The official synopsis from Sony reads: “Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder, and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. What at first appears to be a radical success soon reveals itself to be a remedy potentially worse than the disease.”
Along with Leto, the film stars Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Matt Smith, and Tyrese Gibson. Notable in the trailer is the appearance of Michael Keaton, who’s likely playing Adrian Toomes, which raises the question of how Morbius (and by extension, Venom) might connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe produced by Marvel Studios. There is a rumor that Tom Holland and J.K. Simmons might have cameos, although that hasn’t been confirmed.
Morbius hits theaters July 31, 2020.