Just when you thought that Sony’s Spider-Man cinematic universe featuring everyone except for Spider-Man couldn’t get any weirder, 2017 hits again.
Prepare yourself for some movie news that will make you blearily double take at your computer screen then wonder if you actually woke up this morning. A new Sony Spider-Man spin-off is in the works from the Power Rangers writing duo Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, this time centered around the Marvel antihero Morbius the Living Vampire. Yes, you read that correctly.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that Sharpless and Sazama have penned the script for the Spiderman spinoff Morbius, which was submitted to Sony in secret. Morbius is an antihero first introduced as a supernatural Spider-Man villain in Roy Thomas and Gil Kane’s Amazing Spider-Man #101, who eventually went on to become a tragic antihero with his own title.
Morbius’ backstory follows a classic Spider-Man villain formula: Dr. Morbius is a scientist with a rare blood disease who tries to cure himself, to disastrous results. He instead gains a thirst for blood, fangs, and super strength, essentially becoming a “living vampire” as his epithet suggests.
No more details are known about the movie, but it will likely follow the broad strokes of Morbius’ origin — especially with vampires continuing to be all the rage in film and television. Sharpless and Sazama themselves dabbled in the supernatural genre, penning Universal’s Dracula Untold, another disappointing building block for a troubled cinematic universe.
Morbius joins Venom and Silver & Sable, the Black Cat and Silver Sable-centric spin-off, in Sony’s cabal of increasingly strange superhero spin-offs. Because of the deal, the studio struck with Marvel Studios for the Spider-Man: Homecomingsequels starring Tom Holland, Sony is left with a sandbox of Marvel characters all related to Spider-Man, but without Spidey available to tie together their planned cinematic universe. And boy, are they eager to get that cinematic universe off the ground, kicking it off with the star-studded Venom, the spin-off film featuring one of Spider-Man’s most famous foes.
At this point, I have stopped questioning Sony’s decisions to attempt to break it big with cinematic universes but can only remain in a state of disbelief as the studio throws ideas at the wall. This money-first strategy is as ill-advised as can be, but hey, maybe Sony frantic attempts to make a prestigious superhero movie could bear some fruit. Or perhaps we’ll get another version of Dracula Untold.