Morbius trailer brings Jared Leto into the Spider-verse and maybe the MCU, too

Sony Pictures released the first trailer for Morbius, its film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The trailer offers a peek at the much-anticipated movie, which stars Jared Leto and is set in the same universe as 2018’s Venom, and also suggests that it might be connected to another, much larger franchise: The Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Morbius casts Jared Leto as Michael Morbius, a scientist whose attempts to cure his own rare blood disease with an experimental treatment result in him acquiring powerful abilities that are accompanied by an even more powerful thirst for human blood. His condition transforms him into a living vampire, and he struggles to control his insatiable hunger while using the abilities he’s been given.

Along with providing a synopsis of the film’s plot and the events that turn Michael Morbius into Marvel’s vampire antihero, the trailer also features a scene near the end of the preview featuring Michael Keaton reprising his role as Adrian Toomes, the villain better known as Vulture, from 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. Given that Homecoming is firmly set in the MCU despite being a co-production of Sony and Marvel Studios, Toomes’ presence in Morbius basically establishes this film — and possibly Venom before it — within Marvel’s superhero movie universe.

A scene featuring Leto’s character wandering by a mural of Spider-Man — albeit, wearing one of his pre-MCU costumes — only adds to the connections between Morbius and the MCU, since this would be the first time Spider-Man’s presence was officially acknowledged in Sony’s new cinematic universe.

While it’s no secret that Sony hoped to create its own cinematic universe based on Spider-Man and his supporting cast of allies and enemies, it was previously believed that Venom was the first and only installment of that universe so far. One scene and a line of dialogue later, however, and Sony’s Spider-verse suddenly seems a lot bigger.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa from a script penned by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Morbius also features Adria Arjona as Martine Bancroft, Doctor Who alumnus Matt Smith as Loxias Crown, Jared Harris as Morbius’ mentor, and Tyrese Gibson as FBI agent Simon Stroud.

Morbius is scheduled to hit theaters on July 31, 2020.

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