Jared Leto-starrer Morbius is the next movie in Sony’s Marvel universe, which kicked off with Venom last week, producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach have revealed. The Spider-Man spin-off film will likely start filming in February 2019. Though Venom was panned by most critics – it holds a 29 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes – it has grossed over $225 million (about Rs. 1,673 crore) in less than a week.
In an interview with Collider, Arad and Tolmach confirmed that Morbius the Living Vampire is the next Marvel adaptation for the studio, with Leto set to play the character. Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa (Life) is directing Morbius, which has been written by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (Lost in Space).
“This is the great thing for us now, that an actor like [Leto], and an actor like Tom [Hardy, who plays Venom] wanted to have their own character,” Arad told Collider. “But the character they love. Both of them, very hard to get them to do a movie. You actually cannot get them. We went in, we sat with them, and everybody told us, ‘Oh, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba.’ Nothing. That’s what he wanted to do.”
February 2019 will “more or less” be the start of filming, Arad said, before Tolmach chipped in to say that they are “still working on it” and that “the plan is early part of next year”. It’s likely Morbius will release sometime in 2020, though that’s just our guess. Sony Pictures has yet to set a release date for Morbius.
Both producers also talked about the possibility of Morbius being an R-rated adaptation (the equivalent of A certification here in India). Arad said that it “depends on the story” while Tolmach noted that R-rated superhero movies do work and “can succeed to a staggering degree”. But given what happened with Venom, which ended up being PG-13 (U/A in India) after early promises of R, don’t hold out hope.
Morbius isn’t the only Spider-Man spin-off film in the works. Sony is also actively developing films based on Silver Sable, Black Cat, and Silk. All these films share Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man but have no connection to other Marvel Studios movies, as Sony Pictures doesn’t have the rights.