“Morbius, the man, is a pretty complex character,” he tells IGN. “That’s what I was really attracted to.”
“This is somebody who has a lot of conflict in his life. He’s a guy who’s born with this horrible disease and is really a gifted person. When he was young, he was very curious about science and medicine and decided to dedicate his life to find a cure for the disease that he’s afflicted with and that others like him have, as well. But along the way, all hell breaks loose.”
Leto went on to talk about how Michael Morbius is someone who has “been dying his entire life and now feels more alive than ever,” and adds that there’s a dark side to his newfound powers which he will be forced to battle as he struggles to come to terms with those vampiric impulses.
“Inside of Morbius, there’s a person who has a moral code. There’s a good person. Ultimately it’s that common struggle between good and evil. And, I guess, we’ll see what ultimately prevails. That’s what I like a lot about this movie. We’re not walking such a clear path. There’s not a clear line between what’s right and what’s wrong. There’s some gray area there. And Morbius is an imperfect person.”
“He’s not your grandfather’s superhero,” the actor concludes. “He’s a deeply complex character and imperfect. And I really loved that aspect that here we’re taking someone who is like all of us, has a fair amount of challenges and issues.”
The Oscar winner certainly seems to be saying all the right things, and while the trailer had its faults, Morbius does look like a fun ride. With that July release date fast approaching, it won’t be long until we see even more from this one as you have to believe the marketing campaign will soon kick off in earnest (whether we’ll see even more MCU connections remains to be seen, though).
Are you excited for the movie?
Hit the “View List” button to check out a breakdown
and hi-res screenshots from the Morbius trailer!
The movie is going to explore Morbius’ childhood but there are some changes to the source material as it no longer appears as if he was born and raised in Greece like his comic book counterpart.
Another big difference is that instead of only having a rare blood disease, the young Michael Morbius also has a disability which affects his ability to walk.
That leads to him being bullied but he clearly has an ally in Jared Harris’ unnamed character. He’ll serve as a mentor to Michael from his childhood right through to his older years.
It’s clearly Harris’ character who inspires Michael to become a doctor and it looks like he also treats his afliction along with a number of other very sickly children.
Giving Morbius a physical disability doesn’t seem entirely necessary but it’s perhaps a little more realistic than the comics where he already looked vampiric because of his blood disorder long before he became a Living Vampire.
Michael is obviously extremely intelligence and it’s good to see that Sony is respecting that rather than transforming Morbius into a generic action hero-type character.
Some of Morbius was shot in the United Kingdom, so it’s possible that that’s where Michael grew up and where he ended up meeting his mentor and lifelong friend.
As we jump to Michael’s adult years, we see that he’s become an extremely successful doctor and the recipient of the Nobel Prize for his work in the fields of physiology and medicine.
Unfortunately, his physical condition clearly hasn’t improved and while he doesn’t look like a full-blown vampire, we see that his condition has resulted in a somewhat gaunt appearance.
It’s also worth noting that, like Eddie Brock, Michael Morbius is someone known to the public and it will be interesting seeing whether the factors into his eventual transformation.
Regardless of whether Michael grows up in England, he eventually moves to New York City and that’s going to put him in the same city as a certain superhero team…and the wall-crawler!
Avengers Tower no longer boasts the team’s logo but don’t be surprised if the fictional building doesn’t make its way into this movie’s skyline as it likely won’t be that tied to the MCU.
Michael seems to be a man on the edge as he attempts to cure the condition that seems to be killing him and stopping him from being the doctor he wants to be.
Despite what we see later on in the trailer, Michael is clearly a good man looking to do the right thing and just like he was helped as a child, he now appears to be paying that forward.
Poor Michael looks to be in a bad way here as his condition worsens and so it’s no wonder he later goes to such extreme measures in order to try and save his life.
Clearly, Michael is an expert in all things blood but would he use these kids as guinea pigs? That would certainly put a dark spin on these early scenes but it seems somewhat unlikely unless Sony plans to make him a full-blown villain.
Is anyone else getting some serious Joker vibes from this scene? As you no doubt know, Jared Leto played the Clown Prince of Crime in the DC Extended Universe before joining the SUMC.
With his blood condition taking hold and making him increasingly sicker, Morbius is clearly getting desperate and it’s not hard to see why based on this shot.
It looks like he’s been experimenting on bats for a while and that does indeed line up with the comics where he used vampire bat DNA to try and cure himself.
Interestingly, he also used electroshock therapy in those but that was a rather new concept at the time and probably wouldn’t make sense in a movie that’s set in 2020!
It’s possible that Morbius has been using that bat DNA to keep himself alive (he certainly appears to be in different stages of declining health during these early scenes) but it’s hard to say for sure.
Either way, he clearly decides that more needs to be done and it’s at this point in the trailer we slightly veer off from the comic books and things start to get a little weird.
The visuals in the movie don’t appear to be overly impressive but it definitely has a cool look to it and is arguably quite a bit more unique than what we saw from Venom back in 2018.
Alongside his team, Michael arrives in this mysterious location in a bid to cure himself once and for all and it looks like he’s tracked some a rare type of bat based on what comes next.
None of this happened in the comic books but Sony might have just wanted to make his origin story a little more exciting that him sitting in a lab for most of the movie’s first act!
We don’t know whether these bats are supposed to be mystical in nature but it certainly seems possible and that’s quite a departure from how much more scientific things were in the comics.
We’re not entirely sure what this weird looking device is supposed to be but it looks like it’s used to get those bats out of their cave (maybe he ends up playing that theme on it given the way it recurs throughout the trailer?).
Adria Arjona plays Matine Bancroft who, in the comics, is Michael’s fiancee. There’s no indication that they’re romantically involved in this movie but we can’t say for sure based on what’s shown.
It feels like Michael may not be in his right mind at this point as he brings out this sword and goes to some very weird and desperate measures to come up with a cure.
Jared Leto definitely looks better suited for this role than he was The Joker. His version of the iconic Batman villain was mostly rejected by fans (more because of his appearance rather than his performance).
Slicing his hand open, Michael steps forward and decides to let one of the creatures feed on his blood, presumably because he believes they have some sort of magical healing ability.
As we said, this is where things get strange because this isn’t quite as realistic as him experimenting with DNA in a lab and seems to indicate that vampire bats can indeed pass on their abilities.
Chances are that Michael doesn’t know he will become a vampire by performing this experiment because if he does, that takes away a big part of the character’s tragic backstory.
After all, Morbius never planned to become a bloodthirsty creature but it’s possible that he wants to give himself superpowers and to become something more after being held back physically his entire life.
We’ve already seen what looked like a visual nod to Joker and now the movie delivers a scene which looks like it could have very easily come out of Batman Begins!
While everyone else flees from the onslaught of bats coming out of this cave, Morbius stands firm and seemingly waits until one of the creatures decides to take the bait and feed on his blood.
There has to be more to his origin story than him deciding that a rare form of vampire bat will somehow transfer its abilities to him and cure his condition but based on how Venom handled Eddie Brock, it’s hard to say for sure.
It’s all a bit silly, of course, but Sony clearly wanted to lean into the horror elements here so associating Morbius with a slightly more mystical background to explain his vampiric abilities does make sense.
Just like Eddie Brock, it seems as if we can expect Michael to undergo quite a transformation when he gets his powers (here’s hoping that bat doesn’t call him a “pussy,” though).
Adria Arjona is perhaps best known for Good Omens but she’s also appeared in movies like 6 Underground, Triple Frontier, and Pacific Rim: Uprising.
After returning home, Michael’s transformation begins and it looks like he struggles to come to terms with his new status quo despite regaining the use of his legs.
Suddenly, Michael appears to have gained strength no normal man has and if he does one day come to blows with Spider-Man, they may end up being on something of an equal footing.
How he winds up in this containment chamber is hard to say, but it looks like Martine may have been the one who decided to lock him away…unless there’s someone else pulling the strings here.
Is she glad that Morbius is locked up or sad that her co-worker and possible love interest has turned into a monster? Unfortunately, the source material doesn’t provide a lot of clues.
Once again reminding us that Morbius takes place in New York City, it’s clear that Sony Pictures is no longer shying away from making it clear that these SUMC movies take place in a world where Spider-Man exists.
Is that world the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Probably not and it feels like these Sony movies will be similar to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the sense that they take place in the same world but only very loosely and somewhat adjacent to it.
If Morbius has been experimenting on bats, it doesn’t seem a leap to assume that he has to contain them in something. Feeling a connection to them, though, it looks like he’s going to get up close and personal with them.
As with most trailers, it’s hard to figure out where each scene is supposed to fit into the movie itself but Michael’s experiments on himself are clearly going to be a huge part of proceedings.
At this point, Michael is in seriously bad shape and appears to be dying. Could it be that after he was cured, his body has started to return to its old self (and worse) because he’s lacking a certain something?
That something is blood and fans of the comics will know that the downside to Morbius curing himself is an insatiable desire for human blood just like an actual vampire.
Phew, that’s quite the transformation! As you can see, Leto got into amazing shape for this role and he looks vastly different to Suicide Squad (where, like Joaquin Phoenix, he lost a lot of weight).
As with any origin story, we’ll see Morbius come to grips with his newfound superpowers and that involves lifting a massive tomb in his office (does anyone else think he might have some sort of obsession with vampires?).
When you see thing, it becomes easier to understand why Sony wanted to give Michael a physical disability as well because it gives him an even greater drive to cure himself and makes the “before and after” that much more different.
Whether Michael’s powers come as a surprise or are something he hoped for remains to be seen but he certainly seems to be embracing them in a big way as he tests them out here.
Visually, this looks great but is probably meant to just show us what Morbius is seeing now that he’s gained the powers of echolocation and other abilities more frequently associated with bats.
As he leaps through this building, we get both some awesome imagery and a sequence which ends up looking a lot like Nightcrawler’s attack on the White House in X2: X-Men United.
This feels very much like comic book imagery and if there’s a lot of this in Morbius, it would be no bad thing as it will certainly help differentiate it from other vampire movies out there.
This is our first glance at the authorities and it seems like Morbius will end up doing something which puts him on their radar…sucking people’s blood will do that, of course.
Take a closer look at Michael’s ears and you’ll notice that they’ve undergone a bat-like transformation to reflect his newfound abilities. Is it necessary? Honestly, no, but it does look cool!
Using the power of echolocation, Morbius is clearly embracing his newfound status quo and could be heading down a darker path in the process.
The way Morbius’ powers are portrayed during this montage is definitely cool and it should be fun seeing how that’s used if and when he meets characters like Spider-Man and Venom.
Unless this is a big misdirect, it looks like Morbius ultimately decides to use a cargo ship to continue his experiments, possibly because he’s been chased out of New York City.
These men come for him, though, but they don’t appear to be police. Could they have been sent by another sinister force who has yet to be introduced? We’ll get to that a little later in this post.
It’s at this point Morbius will seemingly get to completely lose control as he makes these men his victims and starts tearing through them one by one after they track him down to this secret lab.
Look closely and you’ll notice that Morbius’ hands have become claw-like and an argument could be made that he’s actually tracked them to this ship…maybe they kidnapped Martine?
Whatever the case may be in that respect, there’s a lot of great horror imagery here as he uses his powers to stalk them and leaps down on this poor sap, presumably for an easy meal!
This guy doesn’t stand a chance as Morbius leaps through the air avoiding gunfire and then taking him down with his fangs bared just like a classic horror movie vampire.
He’s clearly faster and stronger than many heroes and villains out there and, as we previously mentioned, that may wind up putting him on an equal footing with Spidey and Venom.
Busting out of captivity, you’ll notice that near Morbius’ feet is Martine and something tells us that he’s actually been taken prisoner aboard this ship rather than setting up his own lab.
Wearing a prison jumpsuit, it looks like Michael has either broke into prison for reasons unknown or recently managed to escape. Either way, it’s hard to ignore a certain someone making a cameo appearance here.
Yes, that is indeed Spider-Man (well, the Sam Raimi version from the PS4 game) and he’s been branded a “murderer” in response to the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Why does Tyrese’s FBI agent Simon Stroud have robotic enhancements on his arm? We have no clue as that’s not a concept which has been lifted from the comic books.
Here is who we think is probably the movie’s true villain: Matt Smith’s Loxias Crown, a man who suffers from the same blood condition in the comics. He doesn’t look ill but might just want Morbius’ powers for himself.
Going back to that Spider-Man cameo, it’s definitely strange that Sony would use a screenshot from the hero’s video game but perhaps they want us to see it as an artist’s interpretation of the web-slinger?
The problem with that is that it’s Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, something which has confused many fans and made them think that Morbius is really set in that world!
Now, it’s possible that’s the case, right? We highly doubt it unless Sony is planning on having Tom Holland play a totally different version of Peter Parker but that doesn’t add up for a long list of reasons.
This looks like a classic horror movie sequence as the poor guy makes a run for it only to be stopped in his tracks by the Living Vampire and dragged away for a pretty horrible end.
Arguably the highlight of this entire trailer, Morbius finally sports a comic accurate appearance here but will this be a permanent fixture or will he be able to revert to his human self at will?
We hope it’s the former because that’s a big part of the character’s journey moving forward as he attempts to undo what he did to himself when he “cured” that rare blood disease.
That’s a pretty cool title card, right?
Here’s where things get really mind-blowing, though. If Michael did indeed spend some time behind bars, it looks like he may have become acquainted with a familiar face from Spider-Man’s past.
Yes, that is indeed Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes, a characer we saw take on The Vulture persona in Spider-Man: Homecoming where he was last seen being confronted by Mac Gargan about the web-slinger’s secret identity.
That’s common knowledge now, of course, but is Adrian being moved to another prison, breaking out, or randomly bumping into Morbius after escaping? He’s in that familiar prison garb and seems to be enjoying taunting the good doctor anyway…