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If this morning's second trailer for Morbius left you scratching your head in confusion, don't worry. We're pondering all the same questions you are. When the first batch of footage debuted in early 2020 (just prior to the COVID-19 health crisis and all of those pesky theatrical delays), fans got a short glimpse of Michael Keaton as Spider-Man: Homecoming baddie, Adrien Toomes.
Naturally, everyone assumed the film would be firmly set within the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Well, it turns out things are a bit more complicated than that. Judging by the new trailer that arrived online today, we were right and we were wrong. Morbius actually seems to take place in multiple Marvel realities at the same exact time.
Let's try and untangle this web of mysteries...
In addition to Toomes, the trailer also contains a pair of of references to Venom — one made by FBI agent Alberto Rodriguez (Al Madrigal) and one made by Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) himself. Until the mid-credits sequence in Let There Be Carnage, Eddie Brock and his Symbiote parasite existed in a totally different universe far removed from Tom Holland's Peter Parker.
Nevertheless, we know the wall-crawler exists somewhere in Morbius' world because there is a mural of the friendly neighborhood crime fighter at 2:09. But as IGN first pointed out, this back alley depiction of Spider-Man looks closer to Tobey Maguire's iteration of the character than it does to Holland's.
But wait! There's more! A lot more, actually.
At 1:41, for example, you can clearly see a New York skyscraper adorned with the Oscorp name. Either Norman Osborn is about to be rebooted in this cinematic continuity or Willem Dafoe's iconic take on Green Goblin has made his way over from the Raimi-Verse (à la Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus). Or will we be seeing Dane DeHaan's Harry Osborn from The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Gah, our brain hurts!
And then there's that front page shot of The Daily Bugle at 2:00. While it could just be a fun little Easter egg hunt for die-hard Marvel fans, the newspaper makes mention of two more Spider-Verse standbys: Rhino and Black Cat. Moreover, we're left wondering if the Bugle (traditionally run by J. Jonah Jameson) is a physical newspaper, an InfoWars-style website, or both.
Just what the heck is going on here? Our best guess is that Doctor Strange's botched spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home (out Dec. 17) somehow merges all of these dimensions together under one multiversal roof. It's the only thing that makes sense at this point, especially with the Sorcerer Supreme all set to deal with the Multiverse of Madness in early May of 2022.
This could also help explain why Venom seemed to recognize Peter at the end of Let There Be Carnage, despite the fact that these two characters have never actually met before. If all of these realities are indeed being consolidated into one neat little package, it stands to reason that folks will start gaining brand-new memories... right?
Morbius arrives theaters everywhere on Jan. 28, 2022.