MORBIUS, THE LIVING VAMPIRE picture reportedly in the works
Morbius may not be as obscure as some of Spider-Man's supporting cast, we'll always have Rocket Racer to fall back on, but he's certainly not a character that is known by the mere mention of his name. Often times, if you're a child of the nineties as I am, you could probably mention the Fox Spider-Man cartoon and some people will be able to recall the angsty vampire Michael Morbius, but outside of that unless you're a semi-regular comic reader, he's not on the radar.
That's not going to prevent Sony from looking into tapping the character to be a part of their seemingly ever-expanding Spider-Man universe. With the Venom movie starring Tom Hardy well under way, news has leaked that Sony is indeed a looking at turning bringing the Living Vampire to the big screen.
Morbius is an interesting character but one that would be very apropos with the status quo of many popular page-to-screen comic book characters that we have seen recently. In the last few years, characters such as The Punisher, Loki and Deadpool have become pop culture icons and internet darlings for their inherent anti-heroism. These characters all do heroic things but ride the line between good and bad, often not afraid to do thing selfishly, break the law, or even murder. Sony looking at the roster of Spider-Man characters that they have access to and recognizing Morbius as one of these potential lethal enforcers could be a smart play.
Debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man #101, created by comic legends Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Doctor Michael Morbius is a Nobel prize winning biochemist. While attempting to cure a rare blood disease using vampire bats and electrotherapy (oh, comic book science, how I love you) he was instead struck with his own life changing condition, "pseudo-vampirism." To live, Morbius now has to consume blood, while also gaining super-strength, the ability to fly, healing abilities, pronounced fangs and a strong aversion to light. While debuting as a villain, over time, he became a more sympathetic hero character and eventually a full-fledged hero in his own title and team-up titles such as Nightstalkers.
Morbius may seem like a strange character to try and bring to the big screen but his inherently supernatural and spooky roster of villains and partners could make for a lot of fun, similar to the Blade films. In fact, Morbius was originally going to be the villain of Blade II and a shrouded figure can be seen standing on a rooftop opposite the titular hero in the deleted scenes of the Blade blu-ray.
Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama have been credited with working on the script which is exciting considering they recently worked on the energetically fun Power Rangers film as well as the underrated Dracula Untold. A lot of light still needs to be shed on the project but don't let the relative obscurity of the character concern you. After all, would you know who Rocket Racoon and Groot were a decade ago?
Article art done by John Gallagher.