LONDON, United Kingdom — Oscar winner Jared Leto takes on Marvel’s Morbius in the first big-screen portrayal of the vampire-like character. He previously played DC Comics’ The Joker.
In an interview with Reuters, Leto said, “It was an incredible opportunity.”
“There are so many iconic Marvel characters that have already been interpreted that it’s really rare nowadays to be asked to step into the shoes of a character who hasn’t been realized before.”
Morbius, which was released in theaters this week, tells the story of Michael Morbius, a selfless and weak biochemist who suffers from a blood disorder illness. In an attempt to find a cure, he transforms into a ruthless monster with a craving for blood, but he learns to control his abilities.
“In the beginning… he’s very sick and frail and fragile and really at the end of his life, and he’s searching for a cure to this brutal disease. And then he gets strong and powerful and then ultimately monstrous,” Leto said.
“The challenge for me was digging into these three unique… versions of the same character… there’s this super challenging transformation and I enjoyed that. It was rewarding.”
Morbius’ childhood friend Lucien, renamed Milo by Morbius when they were children, is played by British actor Matt Smith, famed for Doctor Who and The Crown.
“They share the same very debilitating disease and became very close as a result of it over the years,” Smith said.
Morbius’ dualism, according to director Daniel Espinosa, has gained him a fanbase in the comic book industry.
“To give people respite is not to give people a shot of diving away from the responsibility,” Espinosa said when asked if films about super – or anti-heroes like Morbius attempting to heal the planet felt relevant in the present context surrounding the Ukraine issue.