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'Morbius' teases connections to larger Spider-Man universe in first trailer since pandemic delay

Morbius swoops into theaters everywhere on Jan. 28, 2022.

By Josh Weiss
Jared Leto Morbius

After more than a year of pandemic-related delays, Marvel's Living Vampire once again rises from his coffin in a brand-new trailer for Morbius. Jared Leto plays the classic Spider-Man villain/antihero, a brilliant scientist by the name of Dr. Michael Morbius who inadvertently gains vampiric abilities (speed, strength, heightened awareness, and a healthy appetite for human blood to name a few) while trying to cure himself of a rare and fatal blood disease.

Thanks to the first trailer's confirmation of a cameo from Michael Keaton's Adrien Toomes/Vulture, we can glean the Sony-produced blockbuster will connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some way. With all of that said, however, this new trailer contains two separate references to Venom, which only makes us more confused. Unless, of course, Doctor Strange's botched spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home (out Dec. 17) merged the two realities together? Hey, stranger things have happened — no pun intended.

"It was a very intense physical role: Morbius at his most frail and then most monstrous," Leto said in a short vignette of teaser footage released online Monday. "This superhero/supervillain...putting a new Marvel character onscreen that had never been onscreen before, it'll be fun to see where we can go with that. There's a web of opportunity."

Web of opportunity? Ha! We see what you did there, Mr. Leto.

Watch the trailer below:

Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson co-star.                                                        

Daniel Espinosa (Life) directed the film, working off a screenplay by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. The writing duo has experience operating in the vampire genre, having penned 2014's Dracula Untold for Universal Pictures. Louise Rosner and Emma Ludbrook serve as executive producers. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, and Lucas Fosters are producers.

"It's the kind of film I feel like we all need right now — just a big, fun popcorn, get in the theater, turn the lights down, let's have some fun," Leto remarked earlier during an interview with SiriusXM this year when the project was still slated for a March 2021 release (it was then pushed to October 2021 before jumping to early 2022). "I'm excited about it ... He's fighting to find a cure and he's frail and thin. A miracle happens and he discovers a cure for this disease and becomes really strong and powerful. [But] there's another side of it all, there's Jekyll and Hyde thing. It's transformative, it's different ... I've never done anything like it."

Morbius swoops into theaters everywhere on Jan. 28, 2022. The movie is officially rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, some frightening images, and brief strong language.