Ladies, gentlemen and all ye creatures of the night, we are less than 2 weeks away from Dr Michael Morbius’ cinematic debut. In the past we’ve covered his possible connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), breaking down every detail found in the teaser. Now we’re back to explore the origin behind Marvel’s orginal vampire and how he came to stalk the night. Throughout comic history, Morbius the Living Vampire has always been something of an enigma to readers. Existing within the tension between good and evil, light and shadow. He’s served as both ally and enemy to Spider-Man. He’s even crossed paths with other big name heroes like the X-Men, the Avengers and the vampire hunter Blade.
Within Sony’s ever expanding Spider-Verse that accomodates for Miles Morales, Venom and other versions of the wall-crawler, we gotta ask: Where does Morbius fit in the bigger picture? How did Michael go from kindly Nobel-prize winning biochemist to bloodthirsty monster? Join us as we sink our teeth into the film’s juicy details and uncover the secrets surrounding Sony’s “Morbius”!
The Man and the Monster
Based on the marketing material, we can deduce that the film’s plot will be heavily based on Marvel’s “Morbius: The Living Vampire” comic book run by Vita Ayala. Much like Ayala’s run, the film sees the brilliant but sickly Dr Michael Morbius trying to make the world a better place by finding a cure for a rare blood disease. This desire stems from his own condition that has left him feeling isolated and weak for so very long. Strangely enough, he would find the solution to his dilemma in the most unlikely of creatures: bats. With the aid of his assistant Emil Nikos, or Milo as he’s named in the film, Morbius undergoes a radical procedure that completely cures him of his disease. What he gains in return…is far more darker and dangerous.
Dr Morbius finds himself becoming much faster, stronger and more durable than the average human. He also develops an insatiable need to feed on human blood. If he does leave his victims alive, they too turn into living vampires as well. Now you might be wondering: Why the term living vampire? Well you see, unlike traditional vampires who are undead beings borne of supernatural causes, the vampires in “Morbius” are created by the power of science! Which means that Morbius isn’t tied to any magical laws. So yeah, crucifixs and garlic cloves aren’t going to work on him. He does, however, have an aversion to sunlight. Unlike his comic book counterpart, though, Jared Leto’s Morbius seems to be able to get bats to do his bidding. We’re definitely looking forward to see how Sony’s “Morbius” will incorporae this element in its action set-pieces.
Joining Leto on set is legendary “Doctor Who” actor Matt Smith who will be playing the role of Milo, a friend of Morbius who also suffers from the same blood disease. A close friend who will eventually turn on Morbius. His character bears several similarities to Emil Nikos, a close friend of Morbius in the comics who worked with him to win the Nobel Prize in Biology. In an interview with the actor, Smith states that both Milo and Morbius gain the same abilities. The main difference between them is that while Morbius seeks to tame the beast within, Milo fully gives in to his dark desires. There’s going to be a vampiric showdown between these two former friends, and rest assured that there will be bloodshed!
Morbius in the Multiverse
Trying to answer the question of which universe “Morbius” is set in is like trying to carry water with your hands. Just when you think you’ve got the answer, it slips right through your fingers. Let’s break it down. There’s some really strong evidence to imply that “Morbius” takes place within the MCU with the appearance of Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes, otherwise known as the Vulture, in the trailers. The prisoner constantly implies that he and the doctor have known each other for some time. However, we also hear Morbius at the end of the official trailer jokingly tells a criminal “I am Venom”. You think that’s confusing? We haven’t even gotten to the Easter eggs yet!
In the teaser for “Morbius”, we see him walking pass a mural of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man with the word “Murderer” spray-painted over the image. We also see in the second official trailer a copy of the Daily Bugle newspaper with two very peculiar headlines. One that hints at a Spider-Man villain named Rhino and another at Black Cat, a love interest of Spider-Man in the comics. As far as we’re concerned, the only Rhino that has made an official cinematic appearance is the one seen in Andrew Garfield’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”.
After examining all the evidence and going through the multiversal implications of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, what does Morbius have to do with Sony’s Spider-Verse? We have a theory for this one. All of these disparate elements seem to exists within the same universe, right? Well, it’s possible that Strange’s spell didn’t simply tear down the barriers between the main MCU to the wider multiverse but also merged other universes together.
Basically think of “Spider-Man: No Way” as an inclusive ret-con button for Sony’s live-action Marvel properties. The events of the “Venom” films still stay the same but this time, due to the multiversal spell, Sony has a way to bring in any new or old faces into their single, cohesive live-action universe!
It would explain all the random hints to past Spider-Men and the Venom quotes. Morbius could be a stepping stone towards Sony bringing their own live-action Spider-Man to the big screen. Perhaps, one that never got a chance to have full trilogy? C’mon, bring back our boy Andrew! As for Adrian Toomes’ appearance in the trailers? Perhaps Morbius is consulting an otherworldly friend for advice, or an alternate version of the character.
There’s only one thing for certain though, we’ll have the answer to all our burning questions when Morbius hits theaters on 31st March 2022!