Jared Leto Defends His Comments About Marvel Keeping Movie Theaters Alive (Exclusive)
By Zach Seemayer
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Jared Leto isn't worried about how people are going to interpret his remarks -- but he's certainly going to stand by them, despite possible push-back.
The Oscar winner recently spoke with ET's Will Marfuggi about his long-awaited and oft-delayed Marvel/Sony project Morbius, and he addressed the growing debate sparked by a remark he made in a recent interview with Variety about big-budget superhero films.
"I pretty much just bury my head in the sand, say a lot of stupid s**t and then let everybody go have fun with it," said Leto, with a laugh, explaining that he didn't know his comments had stirred a lot of chatter in online film circles and among Marvel fans. "But I would say it again. I mean, are people upset with it? Do they agree with it? What are they, confused about it?"
During a profile for Variety, Leto said, "If it wasn’t for Marvel films, I don’t even know if theaters would exist... It doesn’t seem like there’s room for everyone, and that starts to become a little heartbreaking."
According to the star, it's all a matter of basic economics.
"If you look at the box office and what people are buying tickets for, I worked at movie theater as a kid, OK, and I'm talking about what's actually generating revenue to keep the buildings open and the people employed and the ecosystem thriving," Leto told ET. "[Marvel movies] are probably the biggest generators of revenue. So, in a sense, we should be thankful."
"Especially those of us who are big fans of cinema and theaters, we should be thankful that these films even exist. Because they help support the ecosystem, so that other films that are adult dramas, like House of Gucci, have theaters they can actually be in," he added. "That's my point. Maybe that was lost in translation, but it seems it's pretty hard to argue with that."
"I mean, I think it's a sacred thing, cinema. And it's a beautiful thing," Leto added of the experience of seeing movies in a theater. "It changed my life."
Leto's own Marvel movie, Morbius, is flying into theaters on April 1 -- after originally being slated for release in July 2020 -- and the actor, who is famous for his character work, says he loved playing the dark and brooding role.
"I mean, I love that this is a guy, when we meet Dr. Michael Morbius, he's sick and frail and fragile, he's searching for a cure for a really rare disease that he has and others like him, and then he becomes strong and powerful and ultimately monstrous," Leto explained. "So I liked that there were really three performances in one, and there's quite a big transformation there."
"The other thing that excited me is this is the very first time this character has been on the big screen and it was, you know, quite an honor to be asked to do it," he continued. "I've never done anything like this before. I've never starred in a big movie like this before. I generally am doing different sorts of films and, you know, I just jumped at the opportunity."
Check out the video below for a look at Leto's transformation into Marvel's iconic living vampire in Morbius!