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‘Morbius’ director talks criticism and Jared Leto’s process in new interviews

Daniel Espinosa's Marvel film has been hammered by critics

By Joe Goggins

Daniel Espinosa in a 2017 interview
The Swedish director reflected on 'Morbius' critical thumping. (Photo: YouTube)

The director of ‘Morbius’, Daniel Espinosa, has reflected on the reception to the film in a new round of interviews.

The latest Marvel-inspired film, released globally last Friday (April 1), has been roundly battered by critics, and at the time of writing held a 16% approval rating from 205 professional reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, comfortably making it one of the worst-received Marvel-adjacent movies. “Cursed with uninspired effects, rote performances, and a borderline nonsensical story,” reads the site’s consensus, “this dreary mess is a vein [sic] attempt to make Morbius happen.”

Espinosa, whilst conducting a release week round of press for the film, has by turns defended it, reflected on the nature of criticism, and discussed leading man Jared Leto’s unconventional process, which has again hit the headlines.

In an interview with Insider, he said: “when I did my first feature, it was a small movie called ‘Babylon Disease’. I remember one day going home on the subway and I had a few drinks so I was a bit drunk. Someone nudged me on the train and said, “I have to tell you what’s wrong with the second scene in your feature,” and I was like, “Well, okay.” The point I’m making is that it’s a strange thing to make something that is so public.”

He went on to offer a balanced view of his own feelings on ‘Morbius’. “Look, I have a lot of self-hatred so I have a lot of criticism of my own work. I’m always trying to focus on being better. But I am also proud of what I do. There are parts in all of my movies that I’m really proud of.”

He also discussed, in a separate interview with Uproxx, reports of Leto’s method acting, specifically that he would remain on crutches to go to the bathroom between takes, something that was wasting so much time that he was eventually given a wheelchair to speed the process up. Epinosa confirmed this was indeed true, and defended Leto against accusations of being difficult.

“All of the actors believe in processes,” he said. “And you, as director, you support whatever makes it as good as you can be. I think it’s really mysterious, what they do. Almost all actors, in general, have their own reputation of being an interesting person how he works with their characters,” he continued. “I think that all of them have these traits. If you want a completely normal person that does only things that you understand, then you’re in the wrong business.”

‘Morbius’ is in cinemas now. In other Marvel news, the May release of ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ has been brought forward by 24 hours; the latest trailer arrived today (April 6). Meanwhile. Leto discussed the importance of Marvel to cinemas on his own ‘Morbius’ press tour last month.