It seems like things aren’t going too well for the Sonyverse. Morbius, with its 17% Rotten Tomatoes rating, has shocked absolutely no one. The film’s opening weekend brought in only $39 million while Venom: Let There Be Carnage (which opened in October 2021), opened with $90 million.
Many Spider-Man film fans were not excited about this film and it had a lot to do with the lead actor, Jared Leto. Despite not having the greatest track record (albeit it’s a short one) with comic book movies since his appearance as the Joker in David Ayers’ 2016 film Suicide Squad, the majority of the issues that fueled the boycott rested in the fact that fans didn’t like Leto as a person and disagreed with the way his approached his acting process.
What really started it all was his behavior on the set of 2016’s Suicide Squad (not to be confused with James Gunn’s complete and masterful 2021 overhaul). His co-star, Margot Robbie and Will Smith, stated that Leto would send them used condoms, anal beads, and dead rats in an attempt to embody his character, the Joker, by means of method acting. Leto is no stranger to method acting and it seems like it’s his preferred method. On the set of Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, it was reported that Leto would snort lines of arrabbiata sauce in the middle of a scene.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Leto denied these allegations, stating “there were no used condoms” and that “99.9% of what people read is bullshit. Any of the very few gifts that were ever given were given with a spirit of fun and adventure and received with laughter, fun and adventure.” He continued on by saying that the only gifts he gave his co-star Margot Robbie were cupcakes and maybe a mouse.
When explaining his thought process as he was shopping for gifts, Leto said, “I’m playing a guy called the Joker, it’s OK to play some jokes. Nothing ever crossed any lines, and it’s not up to other people on the internet to create those lines. I’m an artist at the end of the day. If I do something risky and you don’t like it, basically, you can kiss my ass”.
The “laughter, fun, and adventure” didn’t stop there. On the set of Morbius, Leto went as far as impeding on production hours with his extended bathroom breaks. While remaining in-character as Dr. Michael Morbius, a doctor with a very rare blood condition (and often seen using crutches because he is so weakened by said blood condition), Leto would take an extremely long time getting to and from the bathroom.
In an interview with Uproxx, director Daniel Espinosa confirmed this story and said, “Because I think that what Jared thinks, what Jared believes, is that somehow the pain of those movements, even when he was playing normal Michael Morbius, he needed, because he’s been having this pain his whole life. Even though, as he’s alive and strong, it has to be a difference. Hey, man, it’s people’s processes.”
In related news, Dakota Johnson was cast as Madame Web for a Spider-Man spin-off.
Photo via Jay Maidment/Sony