A little bit of a mix of horror, superhero, and action – Morbius is hitting theaters nationwide this Friday. This Sony movie release is one similar to the previous Spider-Man and Venom films, a collaboration with Marvel. The character is one that sits in the MCU and Marvel comic collectives, but the rights are owned by Sony for films and other items. And I’ll be honest, before seeing the trailer – I had never heard of Morbius, but add in a Vampire to the Marvel franchise that isn’t an alternate universe version. No, Morbius lives in New York City and isn’t the stereotypical vampire from folklore either – because of comic book rationale apparently. Either the movie was going to win me over or was going to just be another to not add to the shelf.
Just Who is Morbius?
I can’t be the only one who isn’t super aware of who Morbius is, or his back story beyond the trailers. Michael Morbius is a boy wonder, a genius who is trapped in a body with a rare blood condition. What is that condition? They don’t really say what it was in the movie and as much googling as I did, I couldn’t find that information. He meets another boy with the same condition, Loxias, who he calls Milo.
After saving Milo’s life by fixing his medical equipment, Morbius is sent to a school for the gift and later becomes a doctor who is obsessed with finding a cure for his rare blood condition. This leads him to find a way to adapt vampire bat DNA into humans, so his blood can coagulate and cure his disease. The result, however, turns him into a vampire. Much like Marvel’s other major vampire character Blade, he has his own moral code and doesn’t want to feed on humans. But unlike Blade, he’s not a vampire from folklore, but a weird hybrid created by his chimera sequencing. It’ll be interesting if they bring these two different vampire versions together in the upcoming Blade movie reboot.
Morbius is portrayed by Jared Leto, who took his role seriously. Unlike his past roles, Leto decided to let the CGI handle the weight loss and more sickly appearance of Morbius. But later when we see him with a more cut and ripped appearance – he did work out to achieve that. And while Leto tends to get deep into his character, it might be harder to do that with one from a comic that has never been on screen before.
Since Morbius is a hybrid between bat and man, he doesn’t just drink blood (or faux blood when available), but gets some of the attributes and powers bats appear to have. From feeding off blood for sustenance like the vampire bats to echolocation and even using the wind to fly through the air. Put simply – Morbius is more Bat man than The Batman. He can not only connect and communicate with the bats, but he can even control them (similar to Ant-Man and ants, but without the technology behind it).
It is interesting to see how they portray the echolocation and even the movement of air currents around Morbius, and it makes you question if others can see it around him as he moves as well.
What About Milo?
Now I’m not sure about the Morbius comics – I’m a superhero movie watcher, not so much a comic book reader. I’m not sure how pivotal Milo is in the comics. But in the movie, his lifelong friend who shares the same rare blood disease turns into the Anti-Hero’s villain that must be defeated. It’s kind of that comic book plot line we all see coming.
There is a scene where Milo discovers what has happened to Morbius, and not surprisingly takes it upon himself to get the serum for himself. As he leaves the lab, there still seems to be the remaining two vials on the desk – leaving viewers wondering if he actually took it (or some) or this is just a continuity error that will be picked apart later.
Milo isn’t inherently bad, but after a lifetime of pain and a rare illness, you can almost understand his need and desire for a normal life and to be without pain. There is a level of empathy you can have with the character. However, the decisions he makes, quickly lead the character to be the villain of the film. The character is portrayed by Doctor Who’s eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, and following his last role in Last Night in Soho, it seems Smith is picking darker and deeper roles now. One thing that can be said for sure is Smith can play the dark roles and the bad guy well.
Mid-Credit Scenes and What to Look For
It appears that Sony or someone already let the cat out of the bag of who appears in the mid-credit scenes. I won’t post it here, but the spoilers are already out there and the main actor is listed on the IMDB for the page and all over google. But after the movie is done and the initial credits roll, there are two different mid-credit scenes leading to more questions if you’re not familiar with obscure Marvel characters. Morbius isn’t as popular as many others we’ve come to know over the past 14 years of MCU building, but we suspect he will have a lot more to do with the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and other similar storylines.
Despite not knowing what exactly to expect from the film- I really enjoyed it. It had a couple of jump-scare moments, was dark and full of vampire movie gore that I enjoy. The movie does rely heavily on the special effects and I’ll be interested to see the extras when it is released and to understand some of the decisions made. And while the movie, obviously, is about Michael Morbius, I’d love to see a movie for once have a female character that is developed beyond just a basic plot device. There is a bit of hope given for the future of Dr. Martine Bancroft, but that of course depends on if Morbius gets a franchise to build that character out further. As it currently stands, it would not pass the Bechdel test, and while a major character in Morbius’ life, the character doesn’t do anything but serve his story.
The feature comes in at just over 90 minutes, with the end credits adding to the total run time. But after a year of overly bloated post-pandemic movies – 90 minutes seems to be the perfect sweet spot for storytelling and keeping the audience’s attention.
It should be noted that the opening titles, the end title sequence, and other moments in the film do have a lot of flashing lights that may be triggering to people with light sensitivity issues or other concerns.
Morbius will be in theaters and IMAX on April 1st.
One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen as Oscar® winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil – or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges?
The IMAX release of Morbius will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.