The new Morbius trailer has arrived that teases Jared Leto's transformation into a living vampire. Leto plays scientist Michael Morbius who finds himself imbued with super-human abilities and a thirst for blood. Here's a new featurette outlining the character's comic book history.
The Sony-distributed comic book movie is part of the studio's ongoing cinematic universe, which is tangential to the Disney-distributed Marvel Cinematic Universe. But is it actually that easy to draw such divides? In fact, the latest Morbius preview has us questioning the film's allegiances to one franchise or the other, seeing how it's dotted with both MCU and non-MCU Easter Eggs. Scroll down to find out more.
1. The presence of Michael Keaton's Vulture
We already knew this, but Keaton's villain from Spider-Man: Homecoming appears in Morbius. That means that the Morbius movie has its foot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) camp, as well as the Sony Superhero Universe (SSU, we guess?) Will it show fealty to one of those franchises above the other? That's anyone's guess at this stage.
2. The Spider-Man graffiti
Again, we saw this back in the very first Morbius trailer. There's graffiti implicating Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in the death of Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), so we know that Morbius occupies a post-Far From Home world. We're still waiting for confirmation that Spidey will himself appear...
3. The Daily Bugle
The tattle-tale editorial rag that appeared in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies is prominent in the world of Morbius. The Bugle also turned up in the SSU Venom movies, so that connection is reinforced. Confusingly, however, it also turned up during the climax of the MCU-affiliated Far From Home, and was the source of Peter Parker's identity leak.
4. Oscorp Tower
The villainous owner of Oscorp, Norman Osborn, appeared in the first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie as played by Willem Dafoe. It's looking likely that Green Goblin will return in this December's MCU movie Spider-Man: No Way Home. Does the appearance of Oscorp Tower in the Morbius trailer implicitly suggest a connection between this movie and the MCU?
This one speaks for itself. The SSU began with the first Venom movie, starring Tom Hardy as journalist Eddie Brock. The series continued with this year's Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and it extends symbiotic connections with the world of Morbius, to the extent that Jared Leto's hero jokes about passing himself off as Venom. (There's also a reference to "that thing in San Francisco", which has to allude to Eddie/Venom's chaotic exploits.)
6. Black Cat and Rhino
Look closely at the copy of the Daily Bugle that Morbius is holding. You'll see front page references to Spider-Man villains Rhino and Black Cat. The former appeared in non-MCU movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the latter was set to be played by Felicity Jones in the same movie. However, her part was cut. It points towards the likelihood of a Sony-distributed Black Cat movie, potentially with Jones starring. Does the Rhino reference allude to a future Sony Sinister Six movie?
7. Horizon Labs
How does Michael Morbius change into a living vampire? We imagine it's got something to do with Horizon Labs, which features in the trailer and is an important part of Spider-Man lore. Horizon is a high-tech research facility run by eccentric scientist Max Modell, and it has variously employed Peter Parker and Morbius himself at different points. Might this point towards an appearance from Tom Holland's Peter Parker?
Morbius is released in Cineworld cinemas on 28th January 2022.