Morbius: Inside the Next Sony's Spider-Man Universe Movie

“As the movie begins, he’s close to death,” explains Foster. “And so he gets increasingly desperate to figure out a solution. But as an expert in medicine, he’s right at the edge of that ethical boundary.” 

And what of his vampiric bloodlust? “It’s a challenge for a guy who’s a doctor, someone who’s sworn to defend human life,” he says. “He resists it. In the comics, he comes to prey upon the guilty. But this is an origin story; we’re starting with the birth of the character, before he’s made that decision. We watch him wrestle with this dilemma.”

For Scandinavian filmmaker Espinosa (Safe House, Child 44)–a self-confessed Marvel super-fan who executive producer Louise Rosner reveals is the “second-biggest purchaser of comic books in Sweden”–the bad guys are often “more interesting” than the good guys.

“I’ve read almost everything that Marvel has published up until now, and I was always very close to this character,” the director explains of his personal connection to Morbius. “I liked the kind of the ’90s version, which spoke to me as a teenager in the postmodern era. You had the Berlin Wall coming down and you had this character who was like the Kurt Cobain of the Marvel Universe, who told people to fuck off, and I enjoyed that. So when this came to me, it was almost too good to be true.”

This might be Morbius’ film, but he isn’t the only fan-favorite character that Espinosa gets to develop on screen. There’s Martine, Morbius’ partner who, in the comics at least, has a complex arc of her own. “She’s pretty fierce,” says Arjona. “She’s strong and has her own will and has almost like a motherly quality to her, taking care of the people that she loves. And she’s extremely smart. She’s a head-to-head scientist with Morbius. He’s the genius behind this cure, but she’s striving to be just like him.” 

The movie also introduces the Fast & Furious saga’s Tyrese Gibson as Simon Stroud–a special agent tasked with “pursuing superhero-type characters that have gone awry,” according to Foster–and Doctor Who’s Matt Smith as Loxias Crown, “kind of an amalgam of characters from the comics” and a childhood friend of Morbius’ who suffers from the same blood condition. “They have a complicated relationship,” says Foster, wary of giving away too many of the film’s secrets. “It gets more and more complicated as the movie goes on…”

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