Jared Leto, starring as Morbius in upcoming Marvel film, expressed concerns over the future of cinema dubbing Marvel as its saving grace.
In a recent interview with Variety, Jared Leto discussed his upcoming role as Dr Michael Morbius in Morbius, (releasing April 1st), as well as broader concerns regarding cinema’s sustainability.
The highly-anticipated release has faced multiple pandemic-related delays, which have affected not only Morbius but the fate of theatres themselves. According to the Motion Picture Association’s annual THEME report, worldwide ticket sales for theatres have dropped 50% since the pandemic first hit. During this period, four out of the five highest ticket-selling films were all comic book-based.
This report led Leto to question the future of diversity in cinema, simultaneously praising Marvel’s success and questioning its monopoly: “If it wasn’t for Marvel movies, I don’t even know if theatres would exist”, said Leto. “It doesn’t seem like there’s room for everyone, and that starts to become a little heartbreaking”.
— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) March 16, 2022
While Morbius will be Leto’s first venture into the Marvel/Sony universe, this is not the Oscar-winning actors’ first experience with the superhero comic genre.
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In DC films Suicide Squad (2016) and Justice League (2021), Leto played the role of the Joker; an iconic villain who resurged into the public’s conscience following Heath Ledger’s chilling portrayal in The Dark Knight (2008). “That role was an opportunity of a lifetime”, Leto reminisced. “And I got a chance to do it twice”.
Unlike the Joker, Marvel’s Morbius has never been portrayed in a movie or TV show, allowing Leto to cast the first mould. The released trailer signals a character origin story, following Morbius’s transformation from scientist to transgenic vampire and enemy of Spiderman. The trailer is soundtracked by The Doors, and their 1967 track ‘People Are Strange’, suggesting an eerie tone for the upcoming film.
“I feel ready for the challenges that come along with this sort of thing”, Leto told Variety. Morbius will be the actor’s first solo starring role in Hollywood, but knowing Leto’s decorated experience playing tormented characters, (Requiem for a Dream, Dallas Buyers Club), the actor is certainly capable of sinking his teeth into a believable performance.
“I’ll never regret taking a swing”.