Jared Harris denies rumours he's playing Doc Ock in 'Morbius'

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
Leto as Morbius (Credit: Sony)
Leto as Morbius (Credit: Sony)

Since Mad Men star Jared Harris appeared in the first trailer for new Spider-Man adjacent movie Morbius, the rumour mill has been working day and night.

Currently, his character is unnamed – officially – and simply referred to in reports as the 'mentor' to Jared Leto's tortured Dr. Michael Morbius.

Any such secrecy is, of course, leapt on by the comic book fandom, with many coming to a consensus that he could be none other than Doctor Octopus, aka Doctor Otto Octavius, the multi-limbed supervillian.

But asked whether there was any truth to it, Harris, when grabbed by Variety at the 2020 SAG Awards, denied it.

Read more: First trailer for Morbius

“No,” he said. “I love the imagination that the fans have, it’s exciting for me to think about the imagination that that fans have. But yeah no, it’s not.”

Jared Harris arrives at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Jared Harris arrives at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Doc Ock was last seen in the Spidey-verse played by Alfred Molina, in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.

We've had actors denying they're playing people they did end up playing in the world of comic book and sci-fi movies plenty in the past, though, but this did seem rather certain.

Read more: Joker sets Oscar record

That's not to say the star of Chernobyl and The Crown could not be playing another bad guy, and given we're not being let in on the character's name, the mill will continue to grind away, and he did remain tight-lipped on any other details.

Alfred Molina as Doc Ock in a character poster for 2004's <i>Spider-Man 2</i>. (Sony Pictures)
Alfred Molina as Doc Ock in a character poster for 2004's Spider-Man 2. (Sony Pictures)

The movie finds Leto playing anti-hero Morbius, the genius scientist who, when trying to cure himself of a rare blood disorder, accidentally turns himself into a pseudo-vampiric superhuman.

Leto is joined by ex-Doctor Who star Matt Smith, who plays Loxias Crown, a friend of Morbius who suffers from the same blood disease, and who in the comics turns into the living vampire known as Hunger.

Also on the bill are Tyrese Gibson, Al Madrigal and Adria Aronja, while the trailer features a ‘post-credits’ glimpse of Michael Keaton – who played Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Morbius will land on 31 July.