Spider-Man Morbius Spinoff Movie in the Works at Sony

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Spider-Man villain Morbius will be the center of a Sony spinoff movie, with the writers of Power Rangers attached to the script.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe-adjacent, Tom Holland-starring Sony Spider-Man film franchise has taken another step forward in its endeavor to create solo spinoff projects for the Wall-Crawler’s signature nemeses. While star Tom Hardy is shooting Venom as we speak, it appears that the studio is moving forward with the next Spidey villain feature, this time centering on the Living Vampire himself, Morbius!

Sony Pictures is developing a solo spinoff project for Morbius, reports THR. The would-be feature film, set to follow the anti-hero exploits of the blood-sucking Spider-Man antagonist, will work off a script by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, a duo who helped script the 2017 Power Rangers film reboot, having previously worked on 2016 adventure epic Gods of Egypt, 2015 Vin Diesel action/horror vehicle The Last Witch Hunter and, appropriately enough, 2014 vampire origin flick Dracula Untold.

Morbius, who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #101, dated October 1971, was an intriguing character for the twilight era of comics’ Silver Age, arriving just after the Comics Code Authority lifted its ban on vampires and supernatural characters. He first manifested as a villain, tangling with Spider-Man during the famous storyline in which the Wall-Crawler grew four extra arms after a failed experiment to remove his spider powers.

Also known as Dr. Michael Morbius, the character was a brilliant biochemist suffering from a rare blood disorder, who tried to cure himself with an experimental treatment involving vampire bats. While saving his life, it turned him into a pale-white, blood-craving creature with most of the attributes of a vampire (even a weakness to daylight), minus the undead aspect, existing as a “Living Vampire.” Indeed, the tragic aspects of Morbius’s origin story quickly led to him being spotlighted in solo stories in Marvel’s Adventure into Fear, later occasionally popping back up in the Spider-Man titles as a rival. However, Morbius would eventually shine as a hero of sorts, with the 1992 debut of his own series Morbius the Living Vampire. He’s also been famously depicted as a tragic villain in the 1990s Spider-Man animated series.

At this point, no details have been revealed regarding Sony’s prospective approach to Morbius. However, the character’s comic-traditional tragic anti-hero elements seem rife for adaptation. Yet, it still depends on how Venom turns out, since, like the Morbius project, it will serve as the cold introduction to an iconic Spider-Man-connected character, sans the presence of Spider-Man, acquainting audiences with the identifiable elements of a dubious, sometimes-malevolent protagonist. It’s certainly an experimental approach that differs drastically from Marvel Studios’ carefully-curated, slow-burn approach to franchise building.

Venom, starring Tom Hardy, will first serve as the villainous solo movie canary at the box office coal mine when it arrives on October 5, 2018. As for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, he will next appear alongside the entire MCU in (Marvel Studios’) Avengers: Infinity War, which ignites on May 4, 2018.

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