Matt Smith has wielded the sonic screwdriver as the Doctor, donned a platinum wig to become a dragon rider in House of the Dragon, and has even stepped into the shoes of a real-life royal in The Crown. But he’s never appeared in a superhero movie – until now.
In Morbius, Smith plays Lucien – better known as Milo – the lifelong best friend of Jared Leto’s title character. We spoke to Smith about his role in the film, and found out why this particular project drew him into the Marvel world.
“I was really excited to work with [director] Daniel Espinosa, because I’d enjoyed his work and I thought he was just a fabulous director,” Smith tells GamesRadar+. “And I was keen to play a villain in one of these types of movies where – I’ve always loved vampires as well, and been obsessed with the superpower of being able to fly. And I like the fact that it felt like a domestic story about two brothers, really. All of those things really attracted me to it.”
Much of Smith’s role in Morbius has been kept a mystery, with the trailers only offering the briefest of glimpses at Milo. Luckily, the actor’s previous experience as a Time Lord meant he had no problem handling spoilers.
“I’m well versed in trying to keep storylines and plotlines a secret from Doctor Who, of course,” Smith says. “It was quite liberating doing The Crown, actually, because everyone knows everything. Everyone knows the story, which is why that show’s really special, because we know what happens. But I didn’t mind having to keep that secret, because I’ve done it before. Mum’s the word.”
Smith’s next major project is the Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon, which sees him play Daemon Targaryen, another quick-tempered and intense character. As for whether his approach to playing the Marvel villain and Daemon shared similarities, though, Smith isn’t sure.
“Truth is, I don’t know, because I’ve not seen any of House of the Dragon,” he explains. “And it’s quite hard to have an opinion on the work you’ve done, because it comes and goes without having seen it.”
But as wildly disparate as dragons, royals, time travel, and vampires may seem, Smith doesn’t see any major differences between joining the Marvel universe and his work on Doctor Who, The Crown, and House of the Dragon.
“All of it tends to be quite similar in the end,” he says. “It’s big sets and big lights and cameras and all that sort of thing, and lots of bells and whistles. But ultimately, it comes down to two people having a scene trying to tell the truth to one another. The essence of it is the same. But it was exciting to be on a movie of this scale, certainly.”
Morbius arrives in US theaters this April 1, and UK cinemas this March 31. In the meantime, check out our roundup of all of 2022’s major movie release dates for everything else the year has in store – and see more from our interviews with Espinosa and Smith.