For the first time in nearly two years, there’s a new trailer for the upcoming Spider-Man spinoff Morbius, which stars Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius, an ailing scientist who inadvertently turns himself into a “pseudo-vampire” while searching for a cure for his rare medical condition.
Morbius is an unusual film, even by Sony’s Spider-Man universe standards. The character is what can best be described as a C-list Spider-Man villain, which Morbius is reimagining as a Venom-style antihero who wars between his doctoral duties as a healer and his newfound bloodlust.
The new trailer helps give a broad introduction to the character, including his origin story and his powers, which include the usual super-strength and speed, “some form of bat radar,” and a vampire-esque craving for blood. Although, again, Morbius is not technically a vampire.
Originally set to release on July 10th, 2020, the film was delayed several times due to the shuttering of theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s finally set to arrive in theaters on January 28th, 2022.
The biggest question is just how Morbius fits into the larger Marvel movie universe. As a Sony-produced film, Morbius — like the two Venom movies — isn’t directly part of the Marvel Studios-produced MCU franchise (which includes the Tom Holland-starring Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home). Morbius references Venom in the trailer’s final shots, indicating some level of Sony-movie crossover, and Michael Keaton appears to be reprising his role as the Vulture (which he previously played in Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Homecoming). The post-credit scene of Venom: Let There Be Carnage and the upcoming multiversal shenanigans of Spider-Man: No Way Home also mean that there could be bigger crossovers on the way.
But for now, Morbius highlights the challenges facing Sony as it continues to build out its Spider-Man adjacent superhero franchise: how do you build an interconnected universe of Spider-Man villains, side characters, and anti-heroes without Spider-Man?