Morbius is here and it’s doing fairly well. But the journey to this moment wasn’t so smooth, not just because of covid-19 delays, but because of the methods of its star, Jared Leto.
In an interview with Uproxx, Morbius director Daniel Espinosa confirmed a not-so-surprising rumor about his star. Apparently, Leto was so committed to the physical limitations of playing his character, Dr. Michael Morbius, that he would use the character’s crutches even when the cameras weren’t rolling. And the amount of time it took him to walk to and from the bathroom delayed production. As a result, it was agreed that Leto would use a wheelchair to bring him to and from the bathroom, expediting the process.
“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,” Espinosa said. “Even though, as he’s alive and strong, it has to be a difference. Hey, man, it’s people’s processes.” And though Espinosa confirmed the phenomenon, he didn’t knock it in the slightest. “All of the actors believe in processes. And you, as director, you support whatever makes it as good as you can be,” he said.
All of this is interesting because it’s further confirmation of a trend we’ve been following here on io9 for some time: that Jared Leto can be a menace to his co-stars. Don’t forget the actor admitted sending his Suicide Squad cast members anal beads and used condoms, before walking that back (also don’t forget the dead animals too, allegedly). He also filmed Blade Runner 2049 completely blind, because his character, Niander Wallace, was blind. “It was like seeing Jesus walking into a temple,” director Denis Villeneuve said at the time. “Everybody became super silent, and there was a kind of sacred moment. Everyone was in awe. It was so beautiful and powerful—I was moved to tears.”
Which, we guess, is the intended response here. Leto’s method acting can generally produce very striking results on-screen. But off-screen, if it’s putting a movie behind schedule, that’s a larger problem.
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