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The first trailer for Morbius has finally dropped, and obviously the preview focused on how Jared Leto’s Michael Morbius evolves from sickly man to living vampire. However, there are also a couple teases to how Morbius ties connects to Spider-Man, the character without whom Sony’s Marvel universe wouldn’t exist, and by extension the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The biggest head-nod in this regard is unquestionably the appearance of Michael Keaton, seemingly reprising his Spider-Man: Homecoming role of Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. The Vulture. But if you pay attention, you’ll notice that earlier in the trailer, the Web-Slinger himself cameos via graffiti. Check it out:
Judging by the orange jumpsuit, at some point during Morbius, the eponymous character will find himself in prison and eventually break out, and since Michael Keaton’s wearing the same kind of white jump suit he had on in the Spider-Man: Homecoming mid-credits scene, it’ll be during this portion of the movie he and Jared Leto cross paths. More importantly, as Michael Morbius is on the run, and having scored a change of clothes, he passes by some artwork of Spider-Man on a nearby wall, with “Murderer” scrawled on top.
The average moviegoer not terribly invested in superhero movies might think, “Oh cool, Spider-Man” and move on (assuming they even spotted it at all, but to those of us greatly invested in this genre, particularly the MCU, this is huge. Not only do we finally have confirmation that Spider-Man exists in Sony’s Marvel universe, but the “Murderer” indicates that this probably refers to the MCU’s Spider-Man, as the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home saw Peter Parker being framed for murder by Mysterio, and his secret identity was also revealed to the entire world.
However, what’s weird about this Spider-Man Easter egg is that it doesn’t resemble the Tom Holland-portrayed version of Spider-Man we’ve been watching since 2016. Instead, this image was ripped directly from the Playstation 4 Spider-Man video game, specifically using the promo image of the superhero in his Sam Raimi-era suit.
I’m curious about why the Morbius team opted to use an image of Spider-Man from a video game where he looks like he did in his first film series rather than one of the MCU’s Spider-Man, but it’s easy enough to explain why the superhero looks that way in graffiti form: artistic expression. Whoever spray painted Spidey on that wall opted to give him a slightly different look, and it’s not line anyone who passes by the artwork won’t recognize who that is.
While Venom, the movie that kicked off Sony’s Marvel universe in late 2018, didn’t include any references to Spider-Man (although there were rumors about Tom Holland potentially cameoing), Morbius is now planting those seeds. This paves the way for the superhero to eventually participate in this franchise.
After all, back in September, when Marvel Studios and Sony announced that they’d come to a new arrangement with Spider-Man following their month-long rough patch, Marvel’s Kevin Feige mentioned how Spidey was the only superhero with the power to “cross cinematic universes.” As I mentioned earlier, Sony’s Marvel universe wouldn’t exist if Spider-Man had never been created, and since Sony still owns the film rights to Spidey, it stood to reason that eventually the studio would want to get some synergy going between its lineup of Spider-centric movies and what’s happening with the MCU.
For now though, Morbius will chronicle one scientist’s fall from grace when he searches for a cure to his rare disease and ends up becoming something monstrous. The cast also includes Adrian Arjona, Matt Smith, Jared Harris and Tyrese Gibson, while behind the cameras, Daniel Espinosa directed Morbius, and Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless wrote the script.
Morbius will be released in theaters on July 31, and the next Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movie will swing in on July 16, 2021. Don’t forget to look through our 2020 release schedule to plan which movies you’ll be seeing this year in a theatrical setting.