Will the release of Morbius in 2022 lead to a resurgence in the vampire genre? Dracula, the classic 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi as the mysterious count, remains the definitive version of this type of blood-sucking story for many fans. But what could Morbius add to our love of vampire-based horror?
The Details So Far
Morbius promises to be a cross between a vampire horror story and a superhero tale. It’s based on a Marvel Comics character whose full title is Morbius, the Living Vampire. This new movie slots in as the third in the Spider-Man Universe from Sony, which announced it in 2018 and completed the filming in 2019. The release date is scheduled to be April 1 this year, which means a two-year delay since it was originally meant to hit the big screens across the planet.
Jared Leto takes on the lead role of Dr. Michael Morbius, who tries to cure himself of a rare disease that affects his blood. Instead, the treatment turns him into a vampire while also giving him superhuman abilities. Leto has stated that he didn’t need to carry out his famously intense method acting, as the character’s personality is similar to his own. Matt Smith stars as Loxias Crown, while Adria Arjona and Jared Harris are among the other cast members.
The trailer that we saw at the start of 2020 was met with a mixed reception, with many viewers noting the similarity in the visual style to the Venom movie. This was where we saw that Michael Keaton will be in this new film, reprising his role from Spider-Man: Homecoming in which he played Adrian Toomes and his alter-ego Vulture. A second trailer released recently added some new footage with the same dark atmosphere.
The trailer for Morbius shows a dark, disturbing approach that makes it seem more like a classic horror movie than might have been expected from the superhero franchise. It’s clear that the main character has to wrestle with the powers he has unwittingly gained and the split personality that the transformation has caused in him.
Other Vampire Movies Due Out Soon
This isn’t the only vampire film we can look forward to. Renfield by Universal Pictures is described as a horror fantasy with comedy elements. Nicholas Cage stars as Count Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as the title character who works for Dracula, while James Moses has also joined the cast. Writer Robert Kirkman described Renfield as being an extreme comedy. The plan is to release it in April 2023, and with no trailer released yet, per inverse.com, it looks like we’ll need to wait a bit longer to find out if it can be classed as a horror movie.
Smile is another film that vampire fans might want to look out for. Directed by William McGregor, this upcoming Netflix project is said to have a fast-moving atmosphere. Millie is a teenager who gets bitten by a vampire and is informed that she needs to kill the person who bit her before the sun comes up, to take her back to how she was. No release date has been mentioned yet, and none of the names of any actors involved have been revealed so far.
What Does This Mean for the Role of Vampires in Popular Culture?
Vampire films have long been among the most popular movies, and this is reflected in the number of hugely popular titles in this genre. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Thirst, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula are on this list of the best vampire movies ever made. The genre has also made its way in music, as Annie Lennox recorded A Love Song for a Vampire in 1996, while My Chemical Romance produced Vampires Will Never Hurt You in 2002 according to songfacts.
Vampires have also made their way into the world of gaming. There’s a whole genre of vampire console games, with some of the most successful being Vampyre The Masquerade: Bloodlines, Bloodrayne 2, and Darkwatch as ranked by gamerant. The vampire craze has even reached other areas of the gaming industry – Betway Casino, for example, has titles such as Immortal Romance from Microgaming and Anna Van Helsing Monstress Hunter by Rabcat. These games sit alongside other themes slots like Egyptian Tombs and Jurassic Park, giving horror fans the chance to play some games in the sort of dark, creepy atmosphere that they enjoy.
We can also find vampires making an appearance in popular tabletop and trading card games. Vampire: The Masquerade was released in 1991 by White Wolf Publishing and is a role-playing game where the participants take on the roles of vampires. Magic: The Gathering is a trading card game featuring these creatures of the night among the most powerful characters.
It seems likely that Morbius is a success thanks to its combination of horror story and superhero action. Vampires have never gone out of fashion in movies or in other aspects of popular culture, but the release of this long-awaited movie in 2022 and the upcoming Tales of the Walking Dead featuring Olivia Munn could see the genre enter a new period of increased popularity.