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‘Spider-Man’ Spinoff ‘Morbius’ in the Works Based on Vampire Character


Sony is showing no signs of slowing down their Spidey universe plans following the massive success of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The studio has reportedly added yet another spinoff to their upcoming slate of projects, which includes a Venom movie (directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Tom Hardy) and Silver & Black (directed by Gina Prince-Blythewood). While those films center around well-known characters in the Spidey-verse, Sony’s next spinoff is based on one that’s a little more…obscure.

If your first thought upon reading that headline was “Who or what the hell is Morbius?!” — you aren’t alone. Even our resident Spider-Man expert and editor-in-chief Matt Singer struggled to recall Morbius the Living Vampire, who initially appeared in 1971 in the first issue not written by Stan Lee. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that character is the subject of Sony’s next Spider-Man spinoff.

Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, who did some writing on the recent Power Rangers movie, drafted the screenplay for Morbius, which was reportedly developed in secret — maybe because he’s such a hard sell?

For those unfamiliar with the character, Morbius the Living Vampire first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man issue #101. Created by Roy Thomas, Morbius was a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who unwittingly turned himself into a pseudo-vampire when he tried to cure himself of a rare blood disease via a process that included bats and electro-shock therapy — so he’s not much different from most of Spider-Man’s foes (he’s basically the Lizard, but a vampire instead).

Morbius was originally an antagonist, but went on to become an occasional ally of Spider-Man, appearing sporadically over the next several years. Marvel attempted to revive the character in the early ’90s with his own series of comics. You can guess how that went.

It’s unclear if Morbius will be depicted as a tragic heroic figure or a villain in Sony’s spinoff, which — like the others in development — won’t be connected to the main Spider-Man films they’re making as part of their deal with Marvel Studios. In addition to Morbius, the studio also has Silver & Black (described as a sort of heist film with Black Cat and Silver Sable) and Venom, which — in addition to Tom Hardy — has a surprisingly fantastic cast, including Jenny Slate and Michelle Williams.

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