The Morbius release date is April 1st – and there will be blood. Read our guide to the Morbius cast, trailer, MCU crossover rumours and more

Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) in Columbia Pictures’ MORBIUS.

©Courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2019

Led by a terrifying performance from Jared Leto, the horror and superhero genres collide in Morbius.

From the twists of the Morbius trailer to the odds of a Morbius and Spider-Man hook-up, get your teeth into our exclusive guide.

Morbius release date: April 1st

Why haven’t I heard of the Morbius character before?

Until now, Dr Michael Morbius has been one of Marvel’s secret weapons. Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane, and debuting in a 1971 edition of The Amazing Spider-Man comic, the so-called Living Vampire lurked in the shadows while Spidey, Hulk and the gang skipped into the spotlight to become household names.

But to those that know, Morbius was always one of the most fascinating characters on Marvel’s books. A renowned New York doctor and scientist, he’s dedicated his life to healing kids with blood diseases. The tragic twist is that Morbius is rapidly dying of his own incurable illness – and about to resort to extreme measures.

“Morbius, the man, is a pretty complex character,” said the new movie’s star, Jared Leto, in an interview with IGN.

“That's what I was really attracted to. This is somebody who has a lot of conflict in his life. He’s decided to dedicate his life to finding a cure for the disease he's afflicted with. But along the way, all hell breaks loose.”

What happens in the Morbius trailer?

One look at Michael Morbius tells you his time is running out. But even now – corpse-pale, skeleton-thin and hobbling with a cane – the doctor hasn’t given up.

“People all over the world have my disease,” says Morbius. “To find a cure, we have to push the boundaries.”

To the bat cave! No, not that one. In fact, Morbius’s plan is to chopper onto a remote island, find an actual cave full of bats, slash his palm and await the feeding frenzy. It works – kind of – with Morbius restored and then some. “I went from dying to being more alive than ever,” he says. “I have increased strength and speed, and some form of bat radar.”

But before everyone starts high-fiving, there’s a catch.

Missing for months after the bat buffet, Morbius is found on a container ship that washes up in New York full of dead bodies.

The realisation dawns: he is transforming into a terrifying bloodsucker with an uncontrollable lust for the red stuff. “There’s something inside of me,” shivers Morbius, “that wants to hunt and consume blood.”

So is Morbius a hero or a villain?

You decide. While watching the Morbius trailer, you might notice your moral compass spinning like a roulette wheel.

We want to root for this guy. Hell, he’s got killer cheekbones and is great with the kids. But then there’s that nasty habit of darting from the shadows and bloodily massacring everyone.

“I’ll do anything to save a life,” says Morbius. “But I don’t know what I’m capable of.”

Tell us about Jared Leto as Morbius?

When he broke out in 1994’s US teen drama My So-Called Life, Jared Leto looked set for a career of playing assorted hunks, pin-ups and dreamboats.

It didn’t quite work out that way. A square peg by nature, the actor has always been drawn to leftfield roles, from the heroin addict of 2000’s Requiem For A Dream to the Oscar-winning transgender woman of 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club.

Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) in Columbia Pictures’ MORBIUS.

©Courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2019

Famous for his method acting – he notoriously never broke role as the Joker on the set of Suicide Squad, and even sent co-star Margot Robbie a live rat – the intensity Leto brings to his characters can be terrifying.

But for all-in performances, Morbius might just eclipse anything he’s done before. This is a good man being eaten alive by the darkness and fighting to contain the monster within. You’ll break a sweat just watching him.

Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) in Columbia Pictures’ MORBIUS.

©Courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2019

Who are the other stars in the Morbius cast?

British actor Matt Smith has always turned down superhero roles in the past. But after hearing about director Daniel Espinosa’s vision – and with a little nudge from Doctor Who co-star Karen Gillan, who took the plunge herself as the MCU’s Nebula – he stepped into the Morbius cast as Loxius Crown.

An old friend of Morbius, Crown suffers from the same blood disease – and an interview with Consequence suggests he might also be a creature of the night. “I was really excited to play a vampire,” the actor told Clint Worthington. “I mean, I don’t think I can call him a vampire, but I suppose you would.”

As the doctor’s scientist fiancée, 6 Underground’s Adria Arjona looks to be the emotional core of the Morbius movie, while Mad Men’s Jared Harris plays the professor and mentor who tries to curb the vampire’s bloodlust.

But Morbius won’t get so much sympathy from Alberto Rodriguez (Al Madrigal) and Simon Stroud (Tyrese Gibson): two hard-bitten FBI agents on the vampire’s tail. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Michael Keaton will be friend or foe as he reprises his role as Adrian Toomes/Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Could there be a crossover of the Morbius and Spider-Man universes?

Morbius is the latest instalment in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe – a parallel saga to the MCU, developed in association with Marvel – and predicting the crossovers is all part of the fun.

Based on the Morbius trailer, it seems like Espinosa wants us to think there’ll be a run-in between the webslinger and his old comic-book adversary. Check out the scene where Morbius strides past some Spider-Man graffiti, for instance, or the sighting of the Daily Bugle newspaper for which Peter Parker works as a freelance photographer.

But maybe we’re expecting the wrong cameo? Don’t forget last summer’s interview with MovieZine, in which Espinosa’s apparent slip of the tongue suggested Morbius could tangle with Venom.

"It feels strange before the day begins, when you look at the schedule," said the director, “and read names like Michael Keaton, Jared Leto and [Venom star] Tom Hardy…”

Official poster for Columbia Pictures’ MORBIUS.

©Courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2019

What is the Morbius release date – and why should I see it at ODEON?

Picture the scene. A pitch-black cinema. A tension-loaded silence. Everyone around you holds their breath and grips their armrests, as a hapless onscreen nightwatchman shines a torch around a cargo hold.

Then – bam! – Morbius drops from the ceiling in a flurry of claws and fangs. These are the kind of audio-visual knockouts that demand to be seen on the big screen. Now, after multiple delays, the Morbius release date is locked for April 1st – and there will be blood…

 


 

A new Marvel legend arrives at ODEON on April 1

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