Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the endings of Spider-Man: Far From Home and Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Remember Morbius? The Jared Leto Marvel movie that only had one trailer and was delayed from 2020 to 2022? If you forgot, no one would blame you. But the vampiric villain is still coming to the big screen. And believe it or not, the featurette preview already has some implications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Jared Leto stars as Michael Morbius, a scientist suffering from a rare blood disorder. Desperate for a cure, he begins to perform controversial bat-related experiments on himself. While his trials seemingly provide him with enhanced strength and reflexes, he begins to take on a more monstrous form as his cure proves to be more dangerous than his disease.
The movie's release is once again on the horizon and our brief glimpses already tease the character's inclusion the MCU. So, does that make Morbius canon from the start?
Is Morbius part of the MCU?
The character of Morbius is already known as one of Spider-Man's most infamous villains (eventually turned anti-hero), and his connections to the MCU web-slinger are pretty apparent in the first teaser alone.
The trailer, released almost two years ago in Jan. 2020, is already wildly indicative of the film's canon. In one scene, Michael passes by a work of graffiti on the street of Spider-Man (in his Sam Raimi costume) with the word "Murderer" painted right over it.
This would certainly line up with Spider-Man's current state in the MCU. At the end of Far From Home, Mysterio's (Jake Gyllenhaal) dying message falsely frames Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as a murderer. No Way Home deals directly with the fallout of the reveal, where Peter is being condemned for crimes he didn't commit.
At the end of the Morbius trailer, Michael even interacts with Adrian Toomes aka Vulture (Michael Keaton) in a brief appearance. Though it is unknown what Michael is approaching Vulture for, having him physically appear alongside a member of MCU Spidey's rogues' gallery is certainly indicative of the film's connections to the larger universe.
From the get-go, Morbius already looks more directly connected to the MCU than say, the Venom films. At the end of Let There Be Carnage, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and the Symbiote were literally ripped from their own universe in order to interact with MCU Spider-Man. Michael Morbius's place in the general timeline might be a bit confusing, especially considering how the No Way Home crossover will play out, but he's already heavily implied to be part of the MCU from the start.
'Morbius' teases even more villains in the MCU.
The new trailer hasn't even come out yet, but there are still some heavy teases for more of Spider-Man's villains to come. In the featurette that announces the Nov. 2 trailer, Michael is seen reading a copy of the fictional newspaper The Daily Bugle. While Michael himself makes the front-page headline, there are two other stories of note on the paper.
For starters, we already know that The Daily Bugle is canon to the MCU, as J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) hosts a show of the same name where Spider-Man's identity was revealed. But the other headlines on the paper read, "Rhino on the Loose: Zoo Hoax Fools Us All" and "Black Cat: Friend or Foe?"
Rhino and Black Cat are two more of Spider-Man's infamous villains, the former being a criminal with enhanced strength and rhino-themed durable suit, and the latter being an acrobatic burglar with whom Spidey has an on-again, off-again relationship in the comics.
While the first headline has some plausible deniability as an animal-related zoo incident, Twitter has been quick to point out how blatantly the featurette teases the existence of these villains in the MCU.
Nevertheless, Morbius looks to be cracking open Spidey's world even wider than we first thought.
Morbius releases in theaters on Jan. 28, 2022.