Wild Morbius Theory Connects Jared Leto’s Movie To Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man

Jared Leto in Morbius
(Image credit: Sony)

Now that Spider-Man: No Way Home has reached theaters, and Spider- Man fans have processed the massive swings that Marvel and Sony took in the team-up sequel, attention is shifting to the numerous Spidey adjacent projects that are heading our way in 2022. We’ll have to wait until October for the animated sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) to open in theaters. However, in only a few weeks, Daniel Espinosa’s Morbius will drop, answering a few lingering questions about the movie’s place in the ever-evolving Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters. 

One particular image from the Morbius trailers has fanned the flames of online speculation, and created a fascinating link to Spider-Man: No Way Home, and the potential involvement of former Spidey Andrew Garfield in the Sony universe of films. It’s an image that has been part of the Morbius marketing since the film’s first trailer, and it has always raised questions about what it could mean. Now, however, after No Way Home, some fans think they have it figured out, and the theory in question makes some sense. First, here’s the trailer image that’s got everyone talking. 

Spider-Man in Morbius

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

So, why do we think the word “Murderer” is scrawled across the graffiti image of Spider-Man on an alley wall that Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) is walking past? Fans aren’t 100 percent certain what universe Morbius takes place in, though there’s a mention of “that thing in San Francisco,” which we assume refers to the action of the Venom franchise. Morbius holds a copy of The Daily Bugle, which boasts headlines titled, “Black Cat: Friend or Foe?” and “Rhino On The Loose: Zoo Hoax Fools Us All.” And an Oscorp building can be spotted on the skyline of the city in the Morbius teaser.

So people in the Morbius universe know Spider-Man, and think he is a murderer.           

Now, think back to the Andrew Garfield we met in Spider-Man: No Way Home. He isn’t the mature beacon that Tobey Maguire was positioned as. By design, he’s still dealing with his inability to have saved Gwen Stacy (in The Amazing Spider-Man 2), and he talks to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker about how he tried to be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man that Gwen would have wanted him to be. But he confesses that he did slip into a darker period, and for a while, he stopped pulling his punches. Did he murder an opponent in his rage? Is that word, scrawled across the Spider-Man mural, a reference to the fact that Garfield crossed the line? 

This would feed into the push being made by fans to have Andrew Garfield continue as Spider-Man, either in a standalone The Amazing Spider-Man 3, or as the Spider-Man who holds down the “Sony” side of the ongoing live-action equation. There’s a belief that Tom Holland could continue to be the MCU’s Spidey, but Garfield or Maguire could step into the Sony universe and be the hero fighting all of the villains that currently exist on that side of the ball. That roster includes Venom, Morbius, Adrian Toomes, all of the villains resurrected in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Aaron Taylor Johnson’s Kraven the Hunter, the aforementioned Rhino and Black Cat (if they exist in this world), and so on. 

At the same time, the word “Murderer” could simply refer to the confusion created by Mysterio, who managed to turn the general public against Holland’s Spider-Man in the beginning of No Way Home. Though that doesn’t make much sense, given that Holland’s Spider-Man shouldn’t exist in Morbius’ universe. If it is, in fact, the Venom universe. Except, why is Michael Keaton there?      

God, I’m confused. But thankfully, some of these puzzles will snap into place once Morbius reaches theaters on January 28. Want to keep track of all the movies opening in theaters this year. Bookmark our handy release calendar, and reference it often.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and 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.