Is Morbius Marvel? But Vulture is from the MCU, right? Morbius is a 2022 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel, Arad Productions, and Matt Tolmach Productions, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the third film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU).
Directed by Daniel Espinosa and written by the writing team of Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the film stars Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius, alongside Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson. In the film, Michael and his surrogate brother Milo (Smith) become living vampires after curing themselves of a rare blood disease.
There were previously two notable attempts to adapt the character of Michael into a cinematic form since 1998, those being a role in the Blade franchise as an antagonist and having a solo film produced by Artisan Entertainment, neither of which ever came to fruition. After announcing plans for a new shared universe of films inspired by Spider-Man related characters beginning with Venom (2018), Sony began developing a film based on Michael.
Sazama and Sharpless had written a script by November 2017, and Leto and Espinosa officially joined in June 2018. Work on the film began at the end of the year with further casting, ahead of production starting in London in February 2019. Filming was confirmed to have been completed by June 2019, with reshoots happening in Los Angeles the following February. Jon Ekstrand was hired to compose the film’s score.
Is Morbius Marvel?
Sony’s latest Spider-Man villain movie is out, and questions about if Morbius is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have finally been answered. Jared Leto’s solo Marvel movie is the latest entry in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, which takes some of his villains from the comics and turns them into anti-heroes.
Since the studio is also working with Marvel Studios on Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movies, there have long been questions about if these movies are set in the MCU, a brand new shared universe, Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man universe, or if Morbius and Venom exist in separate universes from each other and everything else.
When it comes to Morbius, it was expected that the film would fit in the same universe as Tom Hardy’s Venom. However, Sony’s marketing campaign for the Jared Leto movie created mass confusion. The Morbius trailers included references to Venom, Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, Oscorp from The Amazing Spider-Man, and the MCU.
The latter came as Spider-Man was labeled as a murderer just like after Spider-Man: Far From Home, while Michael Keaton’s return as Vulture also raised major questions. Now that Morbius has been released following several delays, the answer is confirmed.
Either to disappoint or relieve fans, Morbius is not in the MCU. The movie confirms that its events and Jared Leto’s Living Vampire character do not take place in the MCU. Details scattered throughout the runtime tease this revelation, but it is really Morbius’ post-credits scenes that directly confirm its existence outside of Marvel Studios’ shared universe. So while Sony might want Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to fight Morbius, the two characters currently live in completely different universes.
What Universe Morbius Is In & How It Connects To The MCU
Instead of Morbius being in the MCU, Sony’s movie confirms that it takes place in the same universe as the Venom franchise. There are references to weird events in San Francisco, which could be a reference to either Tom Hardy movie. There is even a point when Michael Morbius scares criminals by saying, “I am Venom,” which clearly positions the film to be set in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, not the MCU. This makes Morbius the third entry in Sony’s shared universe, and more are on the way with Kraven the Hunter and Madame Web.
Despite Morbius not taking place in the MCU, the movie does officially link the film to Marvel’s shared universe through the multiverse. Morbius’ post-credits scene shows a continuation of Spider-Man: No Way Home’s spell ripping open the sky in this universe and confusingly transporting Michael Keaton’s MCU Vulture to the Morbius and Venom universe.
While audiences now attempt to wrap their heads around the implications of the scene, it provides Sony with another link to the MCU’s multiverse. This could mean Sony and Marvel Studios eventually work together to have Jared Leto’s Morbius take part in an MCU event, but that doesn’t change the fact that Morbius is not in the MCU.
But Vulture is from the MCU, right?
This is where things get complicated. In the Morbius post-credits scenes, we see the multidimensional rift that opened in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes is transported from the MCU to the Sony-verse. He then attempts to recruit Morbius into what’s likely shaping up to be the Sinister Six, the infamous group that tries to take down Spider-Man. Vulture even says he thinks his sudden arrival has something to do with Spider-Man. However, there’s no clue as to whether Morbius actually recognizes the name or not.
It’s also worth noting that, in the Venom 2 post-credits scene and the Spider-Man: No Way Home post-credits scene, Tom Hardy’s Venom popped from the Sony-verse into the MCU and then back into the Sony-verse (though leaving a glob of Venom behind in the MCU).
For now, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Sony’s Spider-Man Universe are telling parallel stories, with characters crossing over thanks to Doctor Strange’s antics in No Way Home, but that is the only real connection. These are separate timelines. We also don’t know who the Spider-Man in the Sony-verse actually is. Could it be a Tom Holland variant? Or perhaps Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker?
There’s likely to be more universe hopping in the upcoming Doctor Strange 2. Considering that film’s official title is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we can expect plenty of more crossovers to come, and some may well include the Sony-verse.
Morbius is in UK cinemas from March 31, and US theaters from April 1. If you’re all caught up, check out our ultimate guide to Marvel Phase 4 for everything the MCU has in store – and see our guide to the Morbius ending explained and the Morbius post-credits scenes. You can also read our interviews with director Daniel Espinosa on working with Jared Leto, the film’s horror tone, and Keaton’s cameo, and star Matt Smith on joining the Marvel universe and playing the villain.
How Does ‘Morbius’ Connect To the MCU and Spider-Man?
After what feels like an eternity, Sony’s antihero origin story Morbius has finally been released. The film was first announced in November 2017, with writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless attached to conceive of an origin story for the Marvel character. The announcement came shortly after Sony announced plans to create its own shared universe, which has subsequently been referred to as Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU).
Jared Leto became attached to the titular role early on, and a release date was set for July 2020. Morbius was pushed back due to COVID-19 multiple times before a January 2022 release date was officially scheduled. After the box office success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, its release was pushed again to January.
Morbius is the third film in the SSU, following 2018’s Venom and its 2020 sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage. It tells the origin story of Dr. Michael Morbius (Leto), a brilliant medical researcher who has developed groundbreaking insights into blood transfusions. Despite his achievements, Morbius suffers from a critical blood disease, and consumes blood from a vampire bat during a failed experiment. He gains vampiric powers, setting up Leto’s future within the SSU.
Although Tom Hardy’s Venom doesn’t appear in Morbius, the two franchises exist within the same reality. The upcoming film Kraven the Hunter will introduce Aaron Taylor-Johnson as another one of Spider-Man’s main antagonists.
Although none of these characters have met yet, Sony has hinted that there may be plans for a team up project in the future. Sony has claimed two release dates for untitled Marvel projects on June 23 and October 6, 2023. It’s unclear what these films will be; a third Venom film, a Morbius sequel, and a Spider-Woman film from director Olivia Wilde have been discussed.
Both Morbius and Venom: Let There Be Carnage have teased connections to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Prior to the new shared rights agreement between Sony and Marvel Studios, Sony had been developing plans to create a unique universe that was completely separate from the MCU.
Sony planned to use The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to launch several spinoff projects featuring Spider-Man villains and supporting characters, including a team up event with The Sinister Six. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 previewed appearances by other villains, but the plans were subsequently scrapped.
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