Although Sony has announced development on several Spider-Man spin-off movies over the past year, the future of this latest superhero universe was very dependent on the success of Venom. After all, the failure of last year's The Mummy killed Universal's planned classic monster universe before it even started. Luckily, Venom has proved to be a box office smash, ensuring that more movies featuring characters from Spidey comic books are on the way.
A movie focusing on Morbius the Living Vampire was first announced back in November 2017, and it has now been confirmed that the film will start shooting soon. In an interview with Collider, Sony producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach revealed that they plan to start production in February 2019.
In addition, Arad and Tolmach confirmed that Jared Leto will star in the movie. It was reported that Leto would play the role back in June, but this is the first time that the studio has confirmed his involvement. In the interview, Arad spoke about how important it was to have an actor with the stature of Leto or Venom's Tom Hardy involved.
"This is the great thing for us now, that an actor like him, and an actor like Tom wanted to have their own character," he said. "The character they love. Both of them, [they're] very hard to get them to do a movie. You actually cannot get them. We went in, we sat with them, and everybody told us, 'Oh, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba.' Nothing. [But] that's what [they] wanted to do."
Arad and Tomnach were also asked if the Morbius film would have a PG-13 rating like Venom or would deliver the R-rated version of the story that many older fans might want to see. While they didn't answer this directly, they didn't rule out future movies in their Spider-universe carrying the stronger rating.
"It depends on the story," Arad said. "If the success of the story depends on being R-rated, then, of course, we can do it. But at least for me, I have grandkids, kids, whatever, all these things, and some of these movies, they're dying to see."
The Morbius movie will be directed by Daniel Espinosa, who previously helmed the sci-fi horror movie Life and the Denzel Washington thriller Safe House, with the screenplay by Lost In Space's Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama. The film doesn't yet have a release date, but an early 2019 production start means we are unlikely to see it before 2020.