Following the huge box office success of Venom, Sony have pushed ahead with their own Spider-Man related universe, with Jared Leto’s Morbius arriving on screens this summer.
The first trailer is certainly interesting, with plenty of teases as to what we can expect from the Living Vampire’s origin story, and what it means for Sony’s own universe.
So let’s dive right in…
Who Is Morbius?
In the comics, Morbius debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 back in 1971, which featured the villain’s tragic backstory as a scientist trying to cure his own rare blood disease. His experiments (ironically) transform him into a vampire.
Sure, it’s not the typical way of becoming a creature of the night, but it changes the pace from the usual neck bite!
He has swayed between friend and foe throughout the years, even teaming up with the web-slinger on occasion, but has also gone head-to-head with him plenty of times too.
Morbius even defended the world from supernatural villains when he joined a mystical team called the Midnight Sons alongside Ghost Rider, Blade and Doctor Strange.
To be really specific though, Morbius is actually a pseudo-vampire. There’s no point grabbing a crucifix or bulk buying garlic to ward him off, Morbius isn’t affected by any of the stereotypical defenses against the blood-sucking beings. Aside from a stake in the heart, of course.
But Morbius definitely needs to pack that factor 50 sun-cream, because while the sun doesn’t eviscerate him, he’ll get one hell of a sunburn thanks to his photo-sensitive skin. The ginger population of the world feel your pain Morbius, truly, we do.
Luckily he’s got an accelerated healing factor to make up for that vulnerability, but he usually sticks to the shadows if he’s skulking around in the day-time.
Morbius also has the ability to glide through the air on-top of his superhuman strength. Handy.
Let’s get back to the Jared Leto of it all.
It’s certainly leaning heavily into Morbius’ backstory with his rare disease, giving him a heroic nature as he wants to save others while struggling with the affliction himself.
But once he whips up a serum and does some kind of strange blood sacrifice involving (vampire?) bats, suddenly the weakened doctor develops chiseled abs, echolocation, superhuman strength and reflexes. Oh, as well as the taste for blood, obviously.
The trailer also gave us a glimpse of two potential villains in Morbius, the first being Matt Smith. Yes, The Doctor is going up against a vampire.
Smith is playing Loxias Crown, a character comicbook fans might know better as Hunger. He’s another Living Vampire associated with Peter Parker, who debuted in Spider-Man #76 in 1997.
Crown has some different powers to Morbius, including being able to transform himself into pure energy. What are the chances we see the two vampires face off?
But let’s face it, the second villain is a lot more tantalising…
Into The Sony-Verse
At the end of the trailer we see an appearance from none other than Michael Keaton, seemingly reprising his role from Spider-Man: Homecoming as The Vulture.
This is genuinely impressive since before now, Marvel hasn’t included the Sonyverse in its cinematic universe – but with The Vulture (still wearing those prison whites from the Homecoming post-credit scene) showing up to greet Morbius, it seems like it really is all connected.
He greets the vamp with, ‘Michael Morbius, got tired of doing the whole good guy thing huh? What’s up doc?’, so clearly whatever Leto’s anti-hero has been up to clearly caught the attention of some interesting figures.
So Morbius and (presumably) Venom exist in the same universe as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. With several villains already established through Sony’s Spider-Man movies as well as the spin-offs, it seems like they’re ripe for a villainous team-up.
Which definitely makes sense considering the studio has been vying for a Sinister Six movie since the days of Andrew Garfield’s web-slinger.
However, there’s another theory that’s been making the rounds online after the other Spider-tease was spotted in the trailer. If Sony have plans for a live-action Spider-Verse movie some years down the line, this could all take place in another reality.
When Morbius walks down an alleyway seemingly dressed in a prison outfit, there’s a huge mural of Spider-Man with ‘MURDERER’ plastered over the top.
And while it’s a shot of the Sam Raimi suit from the Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 game, this could be a reference to the world assuming Peter killed Mysterio at the end of Far From Home. But the easy way around that bizarre art choice would be to Spider-Verse it, and say this takes place in a completely separate universe.
Whether we’ll actually see Holland’s Spider-Man (or any other Spidey for that matter) isn’t clear, but with this level of Spider-references just in the trailer alone, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he might show up – even just for a post-credits tease. Although a cameo from Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock seems more achievable.
Morbius will hit UK cinemas 31st July.