Marvel vampire Morbius swooped into theaters in April and landed on Netflix on Wednesday, with Jared Leto turning himself into a creature of the night as he tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease. Sony's Spider-Man spinoff also includes a pair of post-credits scenes that may leave fans wondering what they just saw.
"There's very little in Morbius to get the heart pumping, as the obligatory origin story dribbles away any interesting ideas and deflates like a leaking plasma drip," CNET's Richard Trenholm says in his review. "If you can be bothered to stick around, the bottom is well and truly scraped by a post-credits scene that reeks of desperation."
"How desperate?" you ask with delight. This movie doesn't take place in the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe, since Sony only owns movie rights to Spider-Man and characters who originated in Spidey comics (like Morbius and Venom). Disney has been allowed to use some of them in its MCU movies through a special deal with Sony that allows Tom Holland's Spider-Man to show up alongside the Avengers.
In a perplexing turn of events, Morbius shoehorns an MCU character into its closing moments. Let's sink our teeth right into some succulent SPOILERS.
Mid-credits 1: Vulture-verse of madness
In the film's finale, Morbius defeats his surrogate-brother-turned-vampire-enemy Milo (Matt Smith) and transforms lady friend Martine (Adria Arjona) into a vampire. Roll credits! But a moment later, a purple portal appears over the New York City skyline. This tear in the multiverse was first seen leading to parallel realities in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and through it a familiar face pops into Morbius' world.
It's none other than Adrian Toomes (AKA Vulture, played by Michael Keaton), who's teleported into Manhattan Detention Facility. We met Toomes in the MCU-set Spider-Man: Homecoming, where he was beaten by Spidey and ended up in prison. He figured out Peter Parker's identity during the course of that movie, but opted to keep it to himself in the slammer.
"Hope the food here's better than the other joint," he says with the calm of a guy who's lived in a universe of comic book craziness for too long.
In a TV segment, a newscaster says Toomes is expected to be released immediately (since he hasn't been convicted of any crimes in this reality).
Mid-credits 2: A Sinister encounter
Morbius drives to an appointment somewhere in the remote desert, where he meets Toomes, who's somehow acquired his full winged Vulture exo-suit. The former MCU resident doesn't know how he ended up in that universe, but reckons Spider-Man has something to do with it.
Toomes suggests that he, Morbius and some other guys team up and "do some good." Morbius apparently finds this idea intriguing.
What the heck is this all about?
The first of the two scenes acts as a companion to the No Way Home and Venom: Let There Be Carnage mid-credits scenes, in that a character is sent to another universe and reckons their displacement is somehow Spidey's fault.
The Morbius scenes seem like Sony exercising its cinematic right to Vulture to set up the Sinister Six: a classic group of Spidey villains the studio has been trying to bring to the silver screen since Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014. That movie hinted at villain Harry Osborn gathering a bunch of baddies, but the plot thread was cut off since Sony's deal with Marvel effectively ended the Amazing Spider-Man series and replaced Andrew Garfield with Tom Holland's MCU Spidey.
Morbius is set in the same reality as the Venom movies, as suggested by Morbius' joking reference to the symbiote antihero when threatening a goon and confirmed by director Daniel Espinosa in an interview with CinemaBlend.
A Daily Bugle newspaper glimpsed in the film confirms that this universe has a Spider-Man, but that he's missing. It's unlikely to be the Tobey Maguire one, since he encountered his own version of Venom in Spider-Man 3. That leaves the Andrew Garfield Spidey (which would allow Sony to finally pick up that Amazing Spider-Man 2 thread) or someone new. Espinosa told CinemaBlend we'll learn which one it is "soon".
Why did Vulture get transferred into Morbius' universe?
The characters moved through the multiverse in No Way Home knew Peter Parker is Spider-Man in some reality. Toomes made that discovery about the MCU Spidey, so he was among those affected by Strange's spell (like Venom in No Way Home's post-credits scene). Espinosa noted that Toomes' Vulture suit isn't the same as the one in Homecoming, but he managed to cobble one together.
Aside from Morbius, Venom and Toomes, we haven't seen many candidates in the Sony universe. However, classic Spidey villains Rhino and Chameleon (along with Spidey ally and sometimes villain Black Cat) are mentioned on Daily Bugle front pages during the course of the movie.
Rhino and Black Cat (in her civilian identity Felicia Hardy) appeared in Amazing Spider-Man 2, but we don't know if they're the ones mentioned in Morbius. The names on the newspapers could just be Easter eggs for fans.
Fans responded positively to Garfield's Spidey in No Way Home, so it's possible the Amazing Spidey universe will be revived. Morbius director Espinosa also suggested that we're headed towards a Sinister Six movie.
Or maybe it'll all be abandoned if Morbius flops.
Didn't we see a poster of Spider-Man in Morbius trailers?
Those trailers also saw Toomes meeting Morbius during a prison transfer, and the most recent trailer hinted that they'd cross paths in jail. This all suggests that the movie underwent significant changes in the editing process, which is far from unusual but may have been made more complicated by the complicated relationships between Sony and Marvel and their various multiverses.
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