There was a surprise waiting for Spider-Man fans when they got to the very end of the Morbius trailer (which seemed like it dropped 5 years ago, but it was actually in January of 2020). The standalone origin movie, directed by Daniel Espinosa (Life, Safe House), will introduce audiences to Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), a brilliant mind suffering from a rare disease. Morbius will be part of Sony’s ever-growing Spider-Man universe, so it was deeply strange to see Michael Keaton -- who plays Adrian Toomes in the MCU Spider-Man stories -- appearing in a trailer for a Sony movie.
We recently got the chance to ask Michael Keaton about this cameo, and his answer was an expert amount of Marvel deflection. But we also thought you would want to see his reaction. I’ll have my theory on his reply under this photo.
First off, let’s get to the root of the question that we asked Michael Keaton. If you go back and watch the Morbius trailer, he doesn’t do anything that identifies him as Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture. Fans (myself included) simply jumped to that conclusion, because it was Keaton showing up in a movie that has loose connections to Spider-Man. Remember, there’s also a mural of Spidey with the word “Murderer” written on top of him in the trailer, so Spider-Man is a part of that world.
However, when we asked Michael Keaton if he’s a Multiverse version of his MCU character, and if he’s even playing Toomes in that scene, he replied with the cryptic:
Because he knows how important that answer may be. My working theory right now is that the characters we are seeing in Sony movies such as Venom, Morbius and Venom: Let There Be Carnage all exist in a parallel universe. And we will get a look into that universe in Spider-Man: No Way Home, a movie that’s expected to introduce the concept of the multiverse. I even think that the Universe contain all of these Marvel characters has its own Spider-Man, which explains why there’s a mural (with a very Tobey Maguire-looking Spider-Man) in the Morbius trailer.
It’s also my belief that Tom Holland’s MCU Spider-Man will be coming over to this Sony universe sooner rather than later. Perhaps by the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home. I detail my thought process behind that one in this column.
What do you guys think about Keaton’s answer? Was he right to be dodgy? Or do you believe his non-answer points to something much larger at play on the Sony side of the equation? We will start to get some answers soon, because between now and January, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Morbius will all reach theaters. And all of this speculation will transition into reality.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.