What is Matt Smith’s Role in Morbius?
From Doctor Who to vampiric villain
It looks like Morbius, the latest film in Sony’s Spider-Man cinematic universe (connected to, but not strictly part of, the official MCU), is finally on its way after COVID-related delays. On April 1 we’ll get to see Jared Leto as the Living Vampire, alongside Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, Tyrese Gibson, Michael Keaton (seemingly reprising his role as Spider-Man‘s Vulture), and—most excitingly for fans of Doctor Who and The Crown—Matt Smith.
Morbius tells the story of Dr. Michael Morbius, a biochemist who’s struggling with a fatal blood disease. When he conducts an experiment with vampire bat DNA in an effort to find a cure, he accidentally turns himself into a pseudo-vampire: a creature that, while technically still alive, needs to feed on human blood like traditional (that is, undead) vampires. He also has superpowers like enhanced speed and strength, retractable fangs and claws, and the power to glide in the air. Morbius originally appeared as a villain in the Amazing Spider-Man comics, but will become more of a conflicted anti-hero in the movie.
The trailer contains a lot of goodies. Morbius starts off as a melancholy and sympathetic researcher hoping to cure a disease that threatens not just his own life, but the lives of people around the world. Later, when he gets his powers, we see him struggling between horror at what he’s become and love for his newfound abilities. Michael Keaton’s appearance raises some interesting questions about the movie’s place in Sony and Marvel’s larger cinematic universe. Does this movie take place in the MCU, even if we’re not likely to see any MCU cameos?
One of the most interesting parts of the trailer, though, is Matt Smith’s appearance about 2 minutes in. We see him just for a split second, dressed in a suit and tie. What is he doing there, and who exactly is he playing?
So Who is Matt Smith Playing?
**UPDATE: Now that the movie has come and gone, we can reveal that Matt Smith plays a character named Lucien, a childhood friend of Michael’s who suffers from the same rare blood disease. Lucien funds much of Michael’s work and supports his efforts to find a cure, and then uses the cure himself to become an evil vampire who loves to dance. So although he’s not a direct adaptation of the comics villain described below, he’s definitely inspired by the original character.**
Even with the movie coming out in a month and a half, official sources are pretty silent on which character Smith will portray. However, the general consensus on the Internet is that he’ll be playing Loxias Crown, also known as Hunger. In the comics, Hunger is a pseudo-vampire like Morbius, having gained his powers by teaming up with Hydra to capture and conduct experiments on Morbius. But while Morbius struggles to do the right thing, Hunger descends even further into villainy after his own transformation, addicted to the power that vampirism gives him.
If it’s true that Smith is playing Loxias Crown, seeing him as a villain and a vampire should be a ton of fun. (Plus, he gets to join David Tennant in the Doctors-Who-Turned-Marvel-Villains club!) Thankfully, we don’t have to wait much longer to find out.
(featured image: Sony)
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