Sony Pictures’ upcoming film Morbius has now been delayed until April 1st, 2022, per Variety. The comic book adaptation of a Marvel character known as “The Living Vampire,” has been repeatedly delayed since its initial date of July 10, 2020. Since then, star Jared Leto has appeared in a number of films, including reprising the role of The Joker. At this point, we have to take Sony’s word for it that Morbius will ever be released at all. It appears that the studio is determined not to let any new waves of Covid-19 impact the opening of their latest Spider-Man adjacent movie.
After the success of the Tom Hardy movie Venom in 2018, Sony Pictures has gone all in on Spider-Man projects. While both that film and its sequel from this last year, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, received mixed reviews, they were some of Sony’s most popular movies in ages. Now that their collaboration with Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man series has become their single biggest film ever, it’s no surprise that they want to keep using that previous Spider-Man IP. Morbius will tell the story of Jared Leto’s Dr. Michael Morbius, a human transformed into a pseudo-vampire, while also having some connections with the soon to be rebooted Blade.
Once Jared Leto became attached to the Morbius project, it appeared that all was a go. Fans were especially intrigued to catch a glimpse of Michael Keaton’s villainous Vulture from the Marvel films, and now that Tom Hardy popped up in No Way Home, pretty much anything seems possible. At least, if the film ever actually gets released.
That said, Sony is probably doing the right thing by delaying the release over Covid concerns. It has been a shaky few years for the film industry, as pandemic mandates caused unprecedented changes in the release strategies of even the biggest films. Now that studios seem to be settling into a regular routine of releasing new films on streaming services after a theatrical window, it will be interesting to see if films like Morbius keep getting delayed. Of course, that hasn’t seemed to slow down Jared Leto much. In 2021 alone, he starred in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci as real-life fashion designer Paolo Gucci, as well as the Warner Bros thriller The Little Things. And of course, he briefly appeared in the long-awaited Zack Snyder’s Justice League cut as a more palatable version of The Joker (after a disappointing, controversial turn in Suicide Squad).
At the very least, the last couple of years have shown Jared Leto’s affinity for roles that require him to be in very heavy makeup on screen. The marketing of House of Gucci heavily emphasized his transformation into a heavyset, balding man. His original turn as The Joker took what could be called the “heavily tattooed” school of acting, and the first looks at Morbius promise us a lot of red eyes and big fangs. Now that the release date of the film has hopefully been pushed back far enough to avoid most of the impacts of the latest wave of the Omicron variant, we might actually get to see it and probably a Tom Hardy cameo too.