Though lacking critical acclaim, Tom Hardy’s take on the Marvel superhero, or supervillain, in “Venom” grew into a massive commercial success, riveting fans of comic books, of Hardy, and of gritty, action movies. In that film, Venom existed in a world without Spider-Man, but a universe that still knew his name and his character. Sony will be expanding this universe in 2020 with a different, yet still dark character study in “Morbius.

Focusing on a biochemist inadvertently infecting himself and becoming a sort of vampire, “Morbius” brings in the always-brooding Jared Leto (“Suicide Squad”), an actor commonly accepting roles in which he transforms himself. Despite being the least favorite Joker portrayal of many fans and critics alike, Leto’s performances have an air of consistent originality leading to a critical consensus of respect, even if he isn’t the most well-liked of actors.

READ MORE: Jared Leto Does What Jared Leto Does In Gloomy, Angst-y ‘Morbius’ First Look Image

Here is the official synopsis:

Biochemist Michael Morbius tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease, but he inadvertently infects himself with a form of vampirism instead.

READ MORE: Matt Smith Joins Jared Leto In Sony’s ‘Spider-Man’ Spin-Off ‘Morbius’

Banking on a combination of Leto’s odd brand of star power and moviegoers’ current love of superheroes, Sony Pictures gave “Morbius” the green light, tapping Daniel Espinosa (“Snabba Cash”) as the director. An interesting choice to helm a franchise-possibility of a film, Espinosa has been on the verge of a big break out in Hollywood filmmaking for years. Having directed Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in “Safe House” and Jake Gyllenhaal and an all-star cast in the sci-fi horror “Life,” he’s flirted with mainstream success, but hasn’t really had a hit yet. Maybe this could be the one?

READ MORE: ‘Venom’ Producer Says ‘Morbius’ Will Film In February & Hilariously Explains Why An R-Rating Won’t Be Necessary

Joining Leto in the film are actors on the rise in the last five years, with Adria Arjona (“Triple Frontier,” “Underground 6”), Matt Smith (“The Crown”), and Tyrese Gibson (“Fast and Furious” franchise) rounding out the cast. Arjona and Gibson feature heavily in the action movies of the last five years, creating an ensemble that will look to play on experience and a brand of individuality with these actors bringing something different to the screen.

Starring Leto, Arjona, Gibson, and Smith, “Morbius” will be released by Sony Pictures on July 31, 2020.