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Note to self: never get on a boat in the middle of the ocean with Doctor Michael Morbius. Marvel's Living Vampire tears through a crew of gun-wielding mercenaries as if they were made of tissue paper in the first official clip from Sony's Marvel origin film.
The footage in question picks up shortly after the titular character (played by Oscar-winner Jared Leto) attempts a last-ditch effort to cure himself of a rare blood disease via an untested treatment involving bat DNA. The attempt — pulled off with some help from Michael's fiancée, Doctor Martine Bancroft (6 Underground's Adria Arjona) — is a success. Not only is Morbius fully cured of his fatal illness, but he's also gifted with superhuman strength, speed, sonar, and other goodies. There is a downside, though: a tendency to transform into a vampiric monster with a ravenous thirst for human blood.
"I get to play these three different characters in a way in this Jekyll and Hyde story that's just big and fun and sometimes a little scary, which, I think, is different for that genre," Leto said last December. "I'm excited about it; it should be a big, fun popcorn movie."
Check out the clip below:
Written by the Dracula Untold duo of Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the film was directed by Daniel Espinosa (Life), who's been a fan of Morbius since childhood. "As a teenager, I read almost everything that Marvel published," the filmmaker said in late November. "But I felt very close to this character, who was like the Kurt Cobain of Marvel characters, and just told people to f*** off. When the film came to me, it was almost too good to be true."
Right now, it's unclear where Morbius fits into the wider Marvel Universe. The first trailer (released just prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic) featured an appearance from Michael Keaton's Vulture, seeming to confirm that the movie would take place squarely within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All of that went flying out the window with the second trailer, which contained references to Venom and Norman Osborn — two characters that do not exist in the mainstream MCU (at least that we know of at this point).
Sure, Eddie Brock and Venom were transported there at the end of Let There Be Carnage and Willem Dafoe is confirmed to reprise the role of Green Goblin Spider-Man: No Way Home later this month, but neither of those things help explain which universe Morbius actually belongs to. Oy, all this multverse stuff gives us a raging headache. Anyone got some Advil?
Despite all that confusion, the Living Vampire still needs to make it through his first standalone feature — evading two FBI agents (Tyrese Gibson and Al Madrigal), seeking advice from a lifelong parental figure (Jarred Harris), and sparring with Loxias Crown, aka Hunger (Matt Smith).
Morbius premieres in theaters everywhere Jan. 29, 2022.