Sony released the first Morbius trailer recently and it has generated a lot of conversation. It stars Jared Leto, an Oscar winner, as a character known as “the Living Vampire” in what will be the second movie in the studio’s Spider-Man spin-off universe, following in the footsteps of Venom. For those reasons, it should generate a lot of conversation. But the trailer itself contains a couple of huge surprises that suggest this will contain some universe shattering implications. Namely, it’s possible that Morbius will be setting up a Marvel multiverse.
First, let’s go over what appears in the trailer to make us wonder what’s going on here. At one point, we see Morbius the Living Vampire walking down an alleyway and he passes a painting of Spider-Man with the word “murderer” written across it. Not only does this firmly place Morbius in a universe alongside Peter Parker, but this appears to be the version from the Sam Rami trilogy and not Tom Holland. This may not be the same Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rather, it could be Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man. However, at the end of the trailer, we get a surprise sequence featuring Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes, aka Vulture, a villain who appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming. That movie does exist in the MCU. So we seem to be crossing the streams a bit.
For the time being, we have only questions with no official answers. That said, if we allow for a little bit of speculation, the world of Marvel Comics has dealt with the idea of a Multiverse for years. Essentially, there are different versions of Earth with the same heroes, only with minor, or major, changes depending on the universe they exist in. The main universe exists alongside these alternate universes. The best example of this is the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man versus the original Peter Parker. This was explored thoroughly in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. There are different Spider-Mans in various different realities.
Worth noting, that movie proved to be a tremendous success. It proved that audiences can accept the idea of a multiverse. Now the bigger question; why establish a multiverse in Morbius? Sony currently owns the movie rights to Spidier-Man and his larger cast of characters. Sony has a deal in place with Disney and Marvel Studios to allow for Spider-Man to appear in the MCU. That deal got extended recently, but it was implied by Marvel head Kevin Feige that we could be seeing some crossover between Sony’s universe and the MCU. This is something Sony certainly wants, for obvious financial reasons.
Be that as it may, since movies like Morbius and Venom are being produced by Sony, it could be messy to just establish them firmly within the MCU. However, if a multiverse is established, different versions of the same characters can crossover into both universes. For example, the version of Vulture we see in this trailer could look and sound like the Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming, but could, in fact, be a version of the character from an alternate reality within the multiverse. With that being the case, should both studios decide it’s the way to go, there would be a way for Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock to appear in an MCU movie, for example. It could allow for crossover without compromise on either side.
But how could that happen logistically within the narrative of the MCU? We know that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is going to firmly establish the multiverse within the MCU. Once that idea is established and explored, the possibilities are literally limitless. It would be very easy to establish that Sony’s universe is just a different universe within the multiverse. Then, using characters like Doctor Strange, the universes could collide. If Avengers: Endgame could bring back half of all life in the universe using time travel and six powerful space stones and become the biggest movie of all time in the process, audiences can surely get on board with something like this.
Truthfully, given what see in the trailer, it’s hard to come up with another explanation that makes sense. This would be a fitting way for both studios to get what they want and could keep the partnership between Sony and Marvel Studios going for years to come. We’ll have to see what explanation is offered when Morbius hits theaters on July 31 from Sony Pictures.