If you’ve had a chance to watch the first trailer for Sony’s Marvel movie Morbius, you probably spied at least a couple connections to the studio’s existing cinematic universe and that of Disney’s own MCU. If you haven’t watched it yet, you might want to remedy that before reading further since spoilers abound.
Though obviously Morbius is going to be a Marvel Comics movie in some fashion since the title doctor-turned-vampiric monstrosity is, in fact, a Marvel Comics character, the whole Hollywood side of things complicates matters. Is Morbius part of the MCU? Does Sony want to keep ties to the world-famous MCU even while establishing their own Spider-Man-centric Marvel Universe? This trailer presents the movie as a Sony / Columbia Pictures production “In Association with Marvel”, which is a new wrinkle. Sony and Disney have been pretty professional, more or less, in their handling of shared material, with the former keeping hold of everything Spider-Man and the latter owning … pretty much everything else. But there’s plenty of playground for Sony. They’ve done well with Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Venom, but Morbius is going to be a different sort of test.
Despite leading man Jared Leto, the sometimes-supervillain / sometimes-antihero Morbius isn’t exactly a household name. This movie aims to change that. Sony seems to be planning to firmly connect it to their established universe, and that of the Disney/Marvel MCU, to help that recognition along. And they’re bringing in some familiar faces to do just that.
So here’s our first in-trailer clue that Morbius is tied into Sony’s Spider-Man universe/MCU:
This brief scene likely sets Morbius in the Sony/Spider-Man timeline after the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. After the events of that movie, Peter Parker’s secret identity is revealed as J. Jonah Jameson puts the teenage superhero on blast, worldwide. While we don’t quite know what Spidey’s story will be from here on out, we’re assuming he’s on the run and that the good people of NYC aren’t super happy with his latest adventures. You can suss out as much in the quick shot of the Friendly Neighborhood Wall-Crawler with “Murderer” scrawled over his likeness. That’s a shame. Pete’s gonna have his work cut out for him to clear his good name.
But here’s the bigger surprise:
That’s right! Michael Keaton returns to the big screen for Sony as, presumably, Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. Vulture. (It’d be weird if he was just some random guy, right? But that could be a way to trick audiences into thinking Toomes was back only to pull the ol’ switcheroo and be like, Surprise! Not really an MCU movie after all!) Looks like ol’ Toomes escaped from prison somehow, likely after the events of Far From Home since we didn’t hear much about his character in that flick. He says,
“Michael Morbius. Got tired of doing the whole Good Guy thing, huh? What’s up, doc?”
Either Toomes and Morbius have run into each other in the past or the doctor’s work–for good or for ill–has become public knowledge. We also get the sense that Morbius is seeking out some known criminals for help since I doubt the likes of Toomes would welcome him so warmly if he was there to clean house and drink the villains’ blood. (We’ve also got what looks like Toomes in front of an emergency vehicle of some sort, so maybe that’s part of his next scheme or master plan … or night job? Maybe Toomes is at a hospital on work-release and Morbius comes crawling in search of blood…)
However this all shakes out remains to be seen, but could Vulture, Morbius, and others be teaming up for something … Sinister? We’ll find out more leading up to the film’s July 31st release date.
Here’s the official synopsis for Morbius:
One of Marvel’s most compelling and conflicted characters comes to the big screen as Oscar® winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero, Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder, and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. What at first appears to be a radical success soon reveals itself to be a remedy potentially worse than the disease.