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Jared Leto's On-Set Behavior Had A Major Impact On Morbius

Sony's "Morbius," based on Marvel's dark antihero, stars Jared Leto in the titular role of Dr. Michael Morbius, a man who turns himself into a living vampire during an experiment gone wrong. Initially set to come out in July 2020, the story of the "Morbius" production is one of shakes and false starts. After its first scheduled release date was scuttled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was then moved to an early 2021 slot before being shunted once again to October of the same year. Even then, it suffered two more date changes, finally sticking to a theatrical debut on April 1, 2022.

Now that the film is finally ready to go, some critics have had a chance to get their fangs wet at screenings ... and the early critical consensus is worrying, to say the least, with many early viewers expressing disappointment in the finished product. As the latest entry in Sony's Marvel catalogue of Spider-Man-adjacent characters — which kicked off with "Venom" in 2018 — many have been holding out hope that "Morbius" would defy expectations. The involvement of Jared Leto also lent some credence to the project: The actor has become known for his dedicated performances, and in recent years he's had widely praised roles in Denis Villeneuve's "Blade Runner 2049" and Ridley Scott's "House of Gucci," among others. 

At other times, though, Leto's extremely dedicated acting style has risen to the level of infamy, such as when he played the Joker in "Suicide Squad." Now, director Daniel Espinosa has explained how Leto's on-set behavior influenced the filmmaking process on "Morbius."

As expected, Leto went full method with Morbius

Daniel Espinosa, the director of "Morbius," confirmed what many already suspected about Jared Leto's on-set behavior: he went full method in the role of Michael Morbius. Speaking to GamesRadar, Espinosa recounted, "I almost never saw him getting into the role. It was more that Michael Morbius was on set." 

Leto never dropped out of character between takes. That meant adjusting to Leto's presence on the set accordingly, and Espinosa explained that Leto always arrived in full-on Morbius mode, preferring to answer to the name of his character, instead of his actual name.

Plenty of news relating to Leto's fully immersed style of acting has been widely criticized and remains discussed to this day, such as reports that he sent rats and used condoms to his castmates on "Suicide Squad" when he played the Joker (something the actor has denied, according to The Independent). However, Espinosa says there were advantages to Leto's method acting while making "Morbius," clarifying, "He's right in many ways. It's hard to hold on to character, so that being it during the whole day gives him a kind of freedom. Because, what many people, when they talk about Jared, they talk about the effort and how hard it is. But what's fun with working with Jared is that it's also very light and easy, because he is that person, so he can go anywhere."

Espinosa has previously said he got worried about Jared at some points, but clearly was impressed by the actor's level of commitment. The question of whether Leto's method acting paid off for "Morbius" will be revealed when the movie releases to theaters April 1.