The big-screen Spideyverse continues to expand, as Sony has tapped Jared Leto to star in the spinoff Morbius. According to Variety, director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) is slated to helm the film named after the Spider-Man villain of the same name.
With this new role, Leto leaps from DC Comics to Marvel, after playing the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad and securing a standalone movie for the character earlier this month. His recent roles include Blade Runner 2049 and Netflix’s The Outsider.
This new film joins a slew of Spider-Man spinoffs Sony is currently developing in the wake of losing the actual hero himself to Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. These include Tom Hardy's Venom, hitting theaters Oct. 5, and Silver & Black, coming Feb. 8, 2019. There are also rumors circulating that Kraven and Mysterio spinoffs are in the works, but Sony has yet to confirm.
There's also the less-than-a-week-old news Sony is developing a movie based on Korean-American superhero Silk, also initially a Spider-Man comics character. As previously reported, Sony's projects will live in their own standalone universe with no connection to the MCU.
There’s no date attached to Morbius yet, but production is set to start later this year with a screenplay by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama. The character was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane in 1971. The villain first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 as a scientist who unsuccessfully tried to cure himself of a blood disease, leading to tragic vampiric results.