Who Is The Main Morbius Villain? Hunger Explained

The Marvel Cinematic Universe may have dominated the film industry, but it's not the only interconnected Marvel universe out there. Having released two "Venom" movies and hoping to spin their web of Spider-Man villains into popular franchises on their own, Sony Pictures will soon be adding "Morbius" to their roster. Starring Jared Leto as the titular vampire, the film was originally slated to drop in 2020, but will now hit theaters on January 28, 2022.

Desperate to find a cure for his rare blood disease, Dr. Michael Morbius began some dangerous experiments, which did result in a cure of sorts: he became a vampire. Well, technically he was still mortal, hence the title "Morbius, the Living Vampire." Originally conceived as an antagonist for Spider-Man, Morbius was created by Gil Kane and Roy Thomas, making his first appearance in "Amazing Spider-Man" #101 in 1971. 

While he is still most commonly considered a villain, the good doctor has had some pretty heroic team-ups with the likes of Ghost Rider, Blade, and even Spider-Man himself. So, who will be antagonizing Leto's antihero in the Morbius movie? 

Not the only villain of the piece

Much like they have done with Venom, it would seem that Sony intends to portray Morbius as more of an antihero than a villain. Neither character is bad at their core — both were led down dark paths as a result of something that happened to them. Morbius may have become a monster, but that wasn't his intention. That said, he will have his own Big Bad to contend with in "Morbius" in the form of Loxias Crown, a.k.a. Hunger. Crown will be played by "Doctor Who" veteran Matt Smith.

Something of a deep cut in superhero comics, there isn't too much known about Loxias Crown's backstory. Created by Howard Mackie, he debuted in "Spider-Man" #76 in 1996. A genius who could certainly also be described as a mad scientist, Crown eventually joined the villainous organization Hydra. Both Crown and Morbius suffered from the same rare blood disease, but rather than trying to create his own cure, Crown experimented on the living vampire. In the process, he transformed himself into Hunger, a being with very similar abilities.

Breaking good

It will be interesting to see how "Morbius" depicts its title character. Considering he's not going up against Spider-Man and will instead be facing off against someone far more monstrous than he is, it seems safe to say Leto's character will be at least somewhat heroic. Sony seems to have big plans for Spidey's rogues' gallery, though it can't be easy bringing them to the big screen without including the actual webslinger. We know Aaron Taylor-Johnson is starring in a Kraven the Hunter movie, and that the long-gestating Sinister Six film is apparently still in the works.

So, will these characters ever embrace their truly villainous roots, or will Sony continue exploring the hero within? With the exception of Venom, the comics haven't delved too deeply into the psyches of these villains, giving the writers quite a bit of freedom to mold the characters however they see fit. We'll just have to wait and see what happens when Morbius and Loxias cross paths in 2022!