Antoine Fuqua has revealed that Sony approached him to direct Morbius the Living Vampire. Fuqua and Sony have a working relationship that goes back twenty years, starting with the director's feature debut on Chow Yun-Fat's The Replacement Killers. The filmmaker has since then successfully rebooted The Equalizer and Magnificent Seven for the studio, so it's only makes sense for them to approach Fuqua about tackling one of the more obscure characters from their burgeoning Spider-Man antihero universe that Tom Hardy's Venom will kick off this fall.
Created in 1971 by Gil Kane and Roy Thomas, Morbius isn't a literal vampire but a character who, in typical Spider-Man fashion, gained his vampiric powers from a science experiment gone wrong. His mythology is relatively grounded for someone dubbed "The Living Vampire", which makes him a better match for Fuqua's creative sensibilities than similarly fantastical superheroes. Fuqua has yet to direct a film in the science-fiction/fantasy territory that comic book heroes occupy, but it certainly sounds like he's seriously considering the prospect now.
JoBlo caught up with Fuqua at the ongoing CinemaCon 2018 in Las Vegas, where the director is promoting Sony's upcoming sequel The Equalizer 2. Their discussion inevitably turned to comic book and superhero movies, with Fuqua mentioning that he was approached to direct Black Panther years before anyone even knew what a Marvel Cinematic Universe was. He then revealed that Sony has more recently discussed the Morbius movie with him:
"As a kid I grew up with comic books. They talked to me about Black Panther years ago, way back in the day. There's some reason they came up and they talked to me about at Sony, a Marvel character, Morbius [The Living Vampire]...that kinda came up. I don't know, I have a thirteen-year-old son so I'm watching more of that again and it's exciting to do that. I'd love to create a new one. Y'know, something that's closer to what I get excited about."
While Fuqua was receptive when JoBlo suggested he should revive the Blade movie series instead, the quote above suggests that big screen newcomer Morbius might be more his speed. Moreover, with the Blade franchise rights now back at Marvel Studios, Sony's own vampire superhero movie would afford Fuqua the level of creative freedom that he's come to enjoy while working for the studio. Given that most non-hardcore comic book types have never even heard of The Living Vampire, that allows Fuqua even more wiggle room to envision the character in whatever way he deems fit.
The Morbius movie already has a complete script draft, courtesy of Lost in Space TV show reboot creators and Dracula Untold screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Fuqua is gearing up to start filming Universal's Scarface reboot this year, but he's not firmly committed to any other projects and could set to work on Morbius shortly thereafter. Venom will have opened in theaters by then too, meaning it should be clearer just how serious Sony is about moving ahead with this Spider-Man antihero franchise.
We will bring you more details on Morbius the Living Vampire as they become available.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018
- Silver and Black release date: