The first trailer for Morbius finally dropped, and while fans were thrilled to get their first glimpse at the Living Vampire, something else also piqued their interest.
Right at the end of the teaser, we got a surprise cameo from none other than Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), better known as villain The Vulture who first appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Meanwhile a piece of graffiti seemingly ‘confirmed’ Morbius takes place in the same universe as Far From Home.
Fans across the world immediately began to speculate what this could possibly mean for Sony’s Marvel Universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and Spider-Man.
Right after the trailer hit, ‘The Sinister Six’ started trending online with fans guessing that Sony was building their own version of the team for Spider-Man to go up against.
But who are The Sinister Six, why does Vulture’s appearance suggest they’re on the way, and what does this mean for Spidey?
Who Are The Sinister Six?
Originally introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 in 1964, The Sinister Six are a team of villains comprised of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies.
The first and most famous incarnation of the terrifying team was assembled by Doctor Octopus, who served as the leader, and included Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Vulture, Electro and Sandman.
Unfortunately, even the united the team were unable to beat the Webhead and they soon disbanded.
Not that this stopped other villains stealing the idea (theft is kind of something bad guys do), and over the years there have been numerous incarnations with different Spidey foes subbing in and out.
Despite the ever-changing cavalcade of costumed criminals making up the team, the general goal has always remained the same: to squash Spider-Man once and for all.
Over the years the popularity of the deadly team means they’ve made multiple appearances in comics, cartoons and video games, but they’ve never made the leap to the silver screen.
Not that people haven’t tried…
History Of The Cinematic Sinister Six
Back in 2013, Drew Goddard (The Cabin In The Woods, Bad Times At The El Royale) was attached to write and direct The Sinister Six, a film set in Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man Universe.
That’s why at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we got that odd sequence with Gustav Fiers and Harry Osborn discussing their intention to put together a team.
Unfortunately for Sony and Mr Goddard, those plans were put on hold when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 proved to be a commercial and critical dud.
The Sinister Six slowly slipped into development hell while Sony tried to work out what to do with their Spider-Man franchise, and the film was presumed dead after the 2015 announcement that Spider-Man was joining the MCU.
We should have known better…
The Time Is Now
In 2018 Goddard and Spidey producer Amy Pascal both announced they planned on pressing ahead with their vision for a Sinister Six film.
And while it was once easy to dismiss Sony’s plans for their own MCU, their success with Venom and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse had given the studio renewed confidence.
So much so that in 2019 they did the unthinkable and took Spider-Man out of the MCU… for about two weeks.
Their gamble paid off however, and Sony walked away (allegedly) with greater creative control over the character and the rights to use Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in their Spidey spin-offs, something the previous deal had supposedly prohibited.
The board was now set for the Sinister Six to make a comeback…
Members Need Not Apply
We now, of course, enter the realm of speculation, but fans are convinced that Sony has secretly been building their own Sinister Six, and that Keaton’s appearance in the Morbius trailer is the start of that team.
The general idea is that Sony will use the villains Marvel have established in their films to fill out the roster.
So who are Sony’s cinematic Sinister Six? Well if the internet is to be believed (and why wouldn’t we trust the internet), it will be Venom (Tom Hardy), Vulture (Keaton), Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), Scorpion (Michael Mando), Morbius (Jared Leto) and Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine), all of whom will have been upgraded by the team’s seventh member, Tinkerer (Michael Chernus).
There was once a Sinister Twelve, so we’ll forgive a seventh member.
Even if Sony chose to go down an alternative route, the MCU’s Spidey films have dropped in a number of different, peripheral villains who could join the team, including The Prowler (Donald Glover) and The Chameleon (Numan Acar).
Not to mention Sony has also got other villain films in production, including a Kraven The Hunter movie, as well as a film starring Black Cat and Silver Sable, and there’s nothing to stop them making a Doc Ock or Sandman film.
It’s clear Sony has plenty of options if they want to form a team to take down Tom Holland…
What Does This Mean For The MCU And Sony?
You may be wondering what this means for the MCU though? If they’re not building to the Sinister Six in a future hypothetical Spider-Man film, what are they doing? Well, here’s where the two universes may diverge.
It could be the case that Sony will continue to pursue its villain film, culminating in a grand Avengers-style team-up of Spidey’s deadliest foes, in a movie where they either try and bring down Spider-Man, or more likely (considering the route they’ve taken with Venom and Morbius) a film where the Sinister Six are portrayed as antiheroes, similar to the Guardians Of The Galaxy, and Spider-Man will just be an obstacle.
The MCU on the other hand, is something of a different beast: they tend to play the long game. They may focus on giving Spider-Man an overarching nemesis, someone who’ll have a major impact (and was indeed rumoured to make a cameo of sorts in Far From Home): Norman Osborn, or to give him his real name, the Green Goblin.
Yes, Marvel Studios could take Peter Parker’s greatest enemy and use him as a ‘street-level Thanos’, an end game boss for the more grounded superheroes in the MCU (Spidey, Ms Marvel, Moon Night), while other cosmic heroes (Guardians, Thor, Fantastic Four) will take on a more grandiose villain along the lines of Galactus or Annihilus.
Why might this happen? A story called Dark Reign saw Norman Osborn installed as the Head of Shield, and leader of his own ‘Dark Avengers’.
The MCU does seem set for a shake-up after Endgame, with Tony being dead, Captain America out of action, and Nick Fury off in space.
Maybe Norman Osborn is about to fill that power vacuum with his own brand of evil superheroes?
Morbius will hit UK cinemas 31st July.