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'Morbius' official trailer breakdown โ€” In which universe and timeline is the movie taking place?

Morbius is likely to set up future Sony X Marvel movies and also the future of Spider-Man in MCU (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Marvel)
Morbius is likely to set up future Sony X Marvel movies and also the future of Spider-Man in MCU (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Marvel)
Abhirup Sengupta

Amidst rumors of a new Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, Sony Pictures switched fan expectations when they dropped a new trailer for Morbius. The Jared Leto starrer will be released just a month after NWH's December 17 release, with a possible release on January 28, 2022.

Although Morbius' second trailer confirms the movie's timeline, it created a massive confusion over which alternate universe the film is taking place. The clip also packed a ton of references to others from Sony's acquired roster of Spider-Man characters.

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Furthermore, Morbius' official trailer also establishes that Morbius and Venom are from the same universe, i.e., before the convergence of the multiverse.


Easter eggs and theories that Morbius official trailer spawned

Black Cat

The Daily Bugle issue in the Morbius trailer (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)
The Daily Bugle issue in the Morbius trailer (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)

In a prominent shot of The Daily Bugle newspaper featuring Dr. Michael Morbius' arrest, one masthead headline mentioned the superhero Black Cat, while another hinted at the comic villain Rhino.

Black cat in comics (Image via Marvel Comics)
Black cat in comics (Image via Marvel Comics)

Sony has been in talks to develop a movie featuring the antihero Black Cat (aka Felicia Hardy), who has also served as a romantic interest of Spider-Man. The Daily Bugle headline confirms her presence in the Venomverse MCU.


Rhino

Rhino in the comics and in TASM 2 (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)
Rhino in the comics and in TASM 2 (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)

Like Black Cat, Spiderman supervillain 'Rhino' was seemingly teased with the newspaper's headline. Although the story referred to an incident with an actual rhino at the zoo, it is likely to be an Easter egg for the character whose live-action self was last seen in 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It could be possible that Rhino would be showing up in future Marvel X Sony movies.


Jared Harris playing Emil Nikos?

Jared Harris in Morbius and Emil Nikos in the comics (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)
Jared Harris in Morbius and Emil Nikos in the comics (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)

While both trailers showcased Jared Harris' unnamed character as one of Michael Morbius' confidants, the character's name has not yet been revealed. According to the fan theory, Harris could be playing Morbius' biochemist best friend Emil Nikos, who worked with Michael to cure the latter's disease.

After Michael turned into a living vampire, Nikos was one of the first victims who fell to Morbius' bloodlust. In the previous trailer, a shot showcased Jared Leto's Morbius devastatingly screaming over a potential corpse. This body could be of Nikos in the film.

However, if this theory is correct, Nikos may return in the future too. In the comics, he was turned into a vampire by the antagonist Baron Blood.


Simon Stroud

Stroud in comics, and Tyrese Gibson as Stroud in the movie (image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)
Stroud in comics, and Tyrese Gibson as Stroud in the movie (image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)

Tyrese Gibson portrays Stroud in the film. In the comics, the character was a CIA agent who encountered Black Widow that made them friends. He later joined the NYPD and was also associated with the investigation and search for Werewolf (J Jonah Jameson's son John).


Loxias Crown (aka Hunger)

Loxias Crown in the comics and in the movie (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)
Loxias Crown in the comics and in the movie (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)

The character is played by Matt Smith and is expected to be the main antagonist of the movie. In the comics, Crown has similar powers to Morbius. He might be the one to have suggested this approach for the cure to Michael or might be the one pursuing it himself.

The trailer showcased a subtle hint about Loxias Crown potentially framing Michael Morbius. In the trailer, Stroud holds an origami shaped like a bat at a potential crime scene. However, it seems out of character for Morbius to leave a calling card. Thus, it can be theorized that Crown leaves the calling cards to frame Morbius.


When and in which universe is Morbius taking place?

Warning: Spoiler alert for Venom 2

The trailer left a lot of confusion regarding the universe the film is taking place in. Since there has been no hint of the events of Doctor Strange 2 or Spider-Man: No Way Home. It seems that Morbius is set in after the events of Venom 2's climax scene in the church, but before the post-credit scene of Let There Be Carnage.

Venom 2 post credit scene (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)
Venom 2 post credit scene (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)

From the post-credit scene of Venom 2, it can be seen that a brief time (perhaps a week or two) has passed since Venom and Eddie escaped from San Francisco. So Morbius could be taking place in between that week or two.


The Multiversal connection

Spider-Man graffiti in Morbius (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/ Marvel)
Spider-Man graffiti in Morbius (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/ Marvel)

After the Venom 2 post-credit scene, Morbius Official trailer confused many viewers and cast a mystery over the universe in which the film is taking place. Meanwhile, the previous trailer showcased the graffiti of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) on a wall, with the words 'murderer' painted over it. This refers to the ending of Spider-Man: Far From Home from the main MCU.

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The movie will also have Adrian Toomes (aka The Vulture) or a variant of him, who was last seen in a New York prison at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Meanwhile, the Daily Bugle logo of the newspaper is the same as seen in Venom 2.

Michael Keaton reprising his role as Adrian Toomes aka Vulture (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)
Michael Keaton reprising his role as Adrian Toomes aka Vulture (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)

Thus, it is inevitable that Morbius is most likely taking place in the same universe as the two Venom movies. This was also corroborated by Michael Morbius humorously using Venom's catchphrase later in the trailer.

However, the Oscorp tower seen in the trailer carries the exact logo from Andrew Garfield's The Amazing Spider-Man series. The logo even has the same stylized 'R' letter. This could hint that Sony might plan to club the two universes by setting TASM movies in this one.

The Oscorp building in TASM, and in Morbius (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)
The Oscorp building in TASM, and in Morbius (Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment/Marvel)

However, it could also explain the different versions of the characters like Spider-Man and Adrian Toomes using the 'variants' route as seen in Loki.

Venom and Morbius being of the same universe could mean that both characters are likely to have some brief role in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which already has other multiversal characters.


Edited by Yasho Amonkar

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