There’s a special place in Hell for people who make movies like Morbius. It’s along the likes of the 2015 Fantastic Four and that Steel movie where Shaquille O’Neal played a superhero. I just don’t know why someone would think any of these would be a good movie. Oh, yeah! I just remember, it’s all about the money.
Morbius costs anywhere between $75 million to $83 million and it grossed twice that much worldwide so it should be considered a hit. But it’s all part of this new thing Sony has been doing since 2013 trying to do their own shared universe in the Sony Spider-Man Universe or SSU. It all started with their attempts in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to start a franchise introducing the Sinister Six in the never made third TASM movie
While Disney owns most of the Marvel characters, including now the Fantastic Four and X-Men, Sony still has its hooks into Spidey and they’re not giving an inch. We should be glad there was a Spider-Man: No Way Home because like the famous meme, there’s a lot of finger-pointing on how we got to this point that all started damn near 40 years ago. Marvel sold its movie rights to the defunct Cannon Group, who in turn sold their rights to the now defunct Carolco Pictures and the rights lingered around for the latter half of the 1990s while Sony who owns Columbia Tristar was finally able to make a Spider-Man in 2002.
Unfortunately, Sony has been milking Spider-Man for all its worth in the last 20 years. This brings us to Morbius which exists in the same universe as Spidey as well as Venom, we get yet another origin story, this time about Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto who has been prepping for this role since for most of the past 10 years) playing the very sick scientist suffering from a rare blood disease who injects himself with a form of transgenic vamperism. And surprise, surprise, it turns him into a blood-thirsty vampire.
But it’s a PG-13 movie, so there’s a lot of scenes of people being grabbed from a hand off screen or Morbius in full Nosferatu mode lunging toward their throats off-screen. Is he a good guy? I’m not sure. A bad guy? Still uncertain. And neither are the filmmakers. And he’s arrested for murder and yes, he is a killer, but it’s his amigo Milo (Matt Smith) who is also Lucien who suffers from the same rare disease and he becomes a vampire and likes it very much as he gets to kill people.
There’s also Jared Harris as Dr. Emil Nicholas, Tyrese Gibson as Simon Stroud and Adria Arjona as Dr. Martine Bancroft but little to nothing is done with them. The problem is they are too busy trying to set up the SSU with all the cross-overs. Michael Keaton appears again as Adrian Toomey in a cameo as well as one scene that obviously looks like it was reshot because we see him (or a double) in his Vulture costume and hear a mechanized voice but don’t see his face. And I’ll be honest, Adrian Toomey/Vulture was a lackluster villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He practically flew under the radar for years. There’s a set up at the end that makes it appear they’ll either be a Morbius 2 or another Spider-Man movie. (Hey, we got to find out if Peter and MJ get back together.)
Morbius has been kicking around for an on-screen adaptation since a proposed appearance in the first Blade movie in 1998. But it was suggested to put him in Blade 2 which would’ve been awesome in how Guillermo Del Toro would’ve handled it. Unfortunately, we all missed out. Morbius was already shot once in 2019 before Covid-19 and then reshoots started in the winter of 2020 before production was halted due to the pandemic. And it’s release date was changed so many times over the course of a year, with even more reshoots early this year in January and February.
This is never a good sign and Morbius was doomed before it hit theaters. You can see how chopped up and re-edited the movie looks. And there’s not much of an ending but it just ends with the set up Morbius may return working with Vulture. Considering that TASM 2 ended with the same possibility, I think Sony is proving they don’t know as much as Waner Brothers when it comes to making a superhero shared universe.
Considering the backlash Morbius got, I don’t think fans are too eager to see any more of it.
What do you think? Please comment.