June 28 (UPI) — Jared Leto has signed on to star as Spider-Man antihero Morbius in an upcoming standalone spinoff film based around the vampire character.
Filmmaker Daniel Espinosa, who helmed Safe House and Life, is set to direct from a script by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (Netflix’s Lost in Space). Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing with Lucas Foster.
Morbius, known as the Living Vampire, was biochemist Dr. Michael Morbius who transformed into a vampire after he injected himself with a serum derived from bats in order to cure a fatal blood disease.
The character was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane within the pages of Amazing Spider-Man issue No. 101 in 1971. Morbius started out as a villain for Spider-Man before becoming more of an antihero.
The film will be Sony’s latest project under their Spider-Man umbrella which also includes Venom starring Tom Hardy which arrives in theaters on Oct. 5.
It remains to be seen if Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming series starring Tom Holland as the iconic wall-crawler — which is a part of the Marvel cinematic universe — will interact with Venom and Morbius.
Leto is already known as Batman villain The Joker in Warner Bros. DC extended universe series of films where he appeared as the character in 2016’s Suicide Squad. The actor is set to reprise the role in an upcoming standalone Joker film that he is also executive producing.