Morbius trailer really wants to connect with Marvel's Spider-Man

Will Jared Leto's next big foray in the makeup chair help us forget his Joker?

Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
Expertise Video Games, Misinformation, Conspiracy Theories, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Movies, TV, Economy, Stocks
Jennifer Bisset
Oscar Gonzalez
2 min read

Using bat DNA, Michael Morbius transforms himself into a kind of vampire. 

Sony Pictures 

Sony's second movie in its budding Marvel universe stars Jared Leto as a pale, undead creature. Morbius, based on the comic character Morbius, the Living Vampire, will introduce another of Spider-Man's foes following 2018's Venom. There are also a couple of Easter eggs linking the movie to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The trailer sees Leto heavily done up in makeup and visual effects, making him even less recognizable than he was when he played the Joker in Suicide Squad. But will this performance fare better? Make early judgments based on the first trailer, released Monday morning.

Morbius follows Michael Morbius, a scientist who attempts to cure himself of a rare blood disease. Using bat DNA, he transforms himself into a kind of vampire (not the Greek god sparkly kind).

A quick rundown of Morbius' pretty incredible cast: There's Adria Arjona (seen recently in 6 Underground) as Morbius' fiancee; Matt Smith in his first superhero movie as Loxias Crown, a friend of Morbius' suffering the same blood disease; Tyrese Gibson as FBI agent Simon Stroud; and Jared Harris (Mad Men, The Crown, The Expanse, Chernobyl and much more) as Morbius' mentor.

Who is Morbius? 

Morbius first showed up in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 in 1971. Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, the idea of a "living vampire" came from the two wanting to create a Dracula comic. But they got an order from then-Marvel boss Stan Lee to make a new costumed villain. The result was a vampire made from science instead of being bitten. 

After his debut, Morbius became a regular Spider-Man villain but then resorted to being a tragic hero who tries to find a cure for his vampirism while also getting in fights with both good and bad guys. 

Connections with the MCU

The Morbius trailer has two prominent Easter eggs in it. The first comes at the 2:10 mark when Morbius is seen walking by a street art painting of Spider-Man that has "murderer" written over it. 

Morbius Spider-Man

Poor Spider-Man never catches a break.

Sony Pictures

This likely means the movie will come after Spider-Man: Far From Home where Spidey is unmasked and blamed for the murder of Mysterio. 

Then at the end of the trailer, the Vulture played by Michael Keaton returns. 

Morbius Vulture

Look who's back. 

Sony Pictures

He was last seen in prison at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which may mean that he's escaped. His interaction with Morbius as seen in the trailer gives a hint that maybe the Vulture has been looking for Morbius. Could this be the first sign of the creation of the Sinister Six, the supervillain group created to destroy Spider-Man? 

On social media, some noticed a funny DC movies connection with Jared Leto, who previously played the Joker in Suicide Squad, meeting up with Michael Keaton, who wore the iconic cape and cowl of Batman in two movies. 

Morbius will swoop into cinemas July 31 in the US and the UK. (Australia's release date isn't available yet.)

Originally published Jan. 13, 9:25 a.m. PT.
Update, 3:06 p.m. PT: Adds more background info. 

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