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Film / Morbius (2022)

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"I'd do anything to save a life... but I don't know what I'm capable of."
Michael Morbius

Morbius is a 2022 Science Fiction Superhero Horror movie directed by Daniel Espinosa (Life) and the third installment of Sony's Spider-Man Universe after Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage. It is based on the eponymous comic book character and stars Jared Leto in the title role, as well as Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Matt Smith and Michael Keaton.

Ever since he was a child, medical prodigy Michael Morbius has suffered from a rare and incurable blood disease and has long been his life's goal (and obsession) to save others from sharing his fate. At the brink of desperation, he searches for a cure that goes beyond the realm of traditional science... One that proves successful beyond his wildest imagination.

But what looked like a miracle soon becomes a nightmare as Morbius comes to realize his cure has a terrible price. As he desperately fights back against the horrid thirst for blood the resulting mutation brings, Michael will learn the hard way that sometimes the remedy can be so much worse than the disease...

The film was released in theaters on April 1, 2022, delayed several times from an intended July 2020 release due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer, Final Trailer.

It's tropin' time:

  • 20 Minutes into the Past: According to the newspapers and behind the scenes images, Morbius takes place in 2019.
  • The '90s: The flashback with a young Michael and Milo is set in 1994, since text appears stating it occurs twenty-five years ago while certain details, such as the newspapers and behind the scenes images, confirm that the film takes place in 2019.
  • Aborted Arc: By transplanting Adrian Toomes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe into Sony's Spider-Man Universe, any hopes of him teaming up with MCU Mac Gargan have been dashed as of this writing.
  • Actor Allusion: Nicholas asks Milo how he would rate his pain on a scale of one to ten. Milo answers with eleven.
  • Adapted Out: None of the scientist who worked for Horizon Labs in the comics appear here.
  • Advertising by Association:
    • Nearly all promotional material for the film has emphasized that it was produced by the same studio as Spider-Man: Far From Home and Venom. After the release and smash success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, promotional material for Morbius began to emphasize the connection to that film instead of its predecessor, though they continued to cite the first Venom rather than its sequel. Note that both Far From Home and No Way Home were only distributed by Sony, and were actually produced by Disney and Marvel Studios.
    • They also really tried to push the Marvel connection in the advertising, with the tagline being "A New Marvel Legend Arises" and the trailers saying the film was made "in association with" Marvel, which is deliberately misleading given that Marvel Entertainment had nothing to do with the film's production beyond already having licensed the characters to Sony back in the 90s.
  • Alliterative Name: Michael Morbius.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Martine is now a vampire herself who will be quick to feed on humans, Morbius may eventually start feeding on humans himself and Adrian Toomes arrives to convince Morbius to form a team with him.
  • Arc Words: "We are the few against the many."
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The mercs hired for Morbius' operation in international waters. They're openly mocking of Morbius and Martine, one of whom is openly racist towards the latter, and one of them physically abusing Martine is what triggers Morbius' rampage.
    • Inverted with the nurse Michael murders. The FBI agents treats it as a Moral Event Horizon, stating that she's a single mom of twin girls who had worked every day for seven years, and Michael agrees with them. Turns out, it was Milo who did it.
    • A couple of the people Milo kills are unsympathetic, such as the newsstand vendor who rudely insults Michael and calls him a freak or the three jerks at the bar who try to pick a fight with Milo when he tries to talk to a girl and act entitled over her even though she's shown to have enjoyed his company.
  • Big Bad: Milo/Lucien, who has embraced his newfound status as a vampire after taking Michael's experimental cure, and becomes a bloodthirsty villain.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Morbius stops Milo from feeding on people for good, but in doing so is forced to kill him, his best friend. With his window closing on how effective the artificial blood will continue to be, it indicates Morbius eventually having to be forced to resort to actual human blood to survive—and his feeding on Martine likely meaning the window is closed forever right then and there. Dr. Nicholas is killed by Milo and Martine dies by his hand as well, though now she's returned as a vampire herself who will probably not be frugal about who she feeds on either. Also, Adrian Toomes arrives in the universe, meets with Morbius and recruits him to form a team together as well.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: Morbius acquires echolocation, as well as an apparently-tactile sensitivity to air currents.
  • Bullet Time: During Morbius's first transformation on a boat, the hired security swarm him. One of them fires their gun, leading to the whole scene slowing down. During this, Morbius quickly turns around to see an incoming bullet. This happens again all throughout.
  • Cain and Abel: Morbius's surrogate brother Milo is revealed to be the film's Big Bad.
  • Call-Back: During the final battle between Milo and Morbius, Milo says how their new condition is not a curse, but a gift.
  • Chekhov's Skill: While testing his powers, Morbius learns that he shares a bond with vampire bats and can control them. While fighting with Milo in the subway, Morbius uses this ability to summon a swarm of bats to subdue him.
  • Continuity Nod: FBI Agent Rodriguez alludes to Venom as the "thing from San Francisco," and Morbius jokingly says, "I... am Venom."
  • Death by Racism: The merc leader disparages Martine by calling her the Latino slur "the help". He's the first to die.
  • Deathly Dies Irae: The four notes of dies irae blast over the soundtrack as Morbius drinks from a bag of red blood for the first time and Morbius realizes Milo has become a vampire and a killer. They play again when Stroud and Rodriguez raid Martine's apartment.
  • Diagnosis from Dr. Badass: Michael, while crushing the hand of a criminal to intimidate him, identifies all the parts of the hand he breaks.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After he leaves Morbius's cell, Milo spends some time drinking from a hip flask as ominous music plays. Morbius then realizes Milo left his cane in the cell and has healed himself with the serum and was the one who killed the nurse.
  • Game Face: There are several shots of Morbius's vampire form from the comics, with grey skin, red eyes, a flattened nose and pointed teeth.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Agents Stroud and Rodriguez have this dynamic: Rodriguez is snarky and largely unsympathetic towards Michael, acting quite aggressive towards him sometimes, while Stroud is reasonable and cool-headed, trying to sympathize with Michael and understand where he's coming from.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Milo is gradually revealed to be this, having seen Michael as a brother all his life but also harboring some resentment over his accomplishments, his relationship with Martine (whom Milo also has a crush on), and believing their father figure Dr. Nicholas considers Michael the favorite.
  • Horror Hunger: Along with curing his disease, Michael becomes even stronger than he's ever been along with a number of abilities... all of which comes at the cost of a monstrous, insatiable thirst for blood.
  • Hour of Power: After injecting himself with the cure, Morbius determines that he can initially sustain himself on one bag of artificial blood every six hours, during which time he possesses his enhanced abilities but after which his body regresses to its original state. However, he soon determines that this method is becoming less effective each time he drinks; by the time he is sent to prison, one bag of artificial blood can only sustain him for just over four hours, and he calculates the artificial blood will stop being effective within a week, forcing him to rely on real blood afterwards.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Morbius (played by Jared Leto) is shown to be a rather good-looking man with long hair down to his shoulders. This is in contrast to his comic book counterpart whose unattractiveness was part of his backstory.
  • Mind over Matter: The trailer shows Morbius catching a ball with his eyes closed using his echolocation power, represented in a burst of blood-colored smoke.
  • Mook Horror Show: At one point, a group of unlucky thugs think they're hunting Michael through an old ship where he was conducting his experiments in international waters. Michael is all too happy to correct them.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A mural of Spider-Man in the first trailer uses the costume design from the Spider-Man Trilogy, though it's also a direct screenshot from Spider-Man (PS4). This is not in the released film.
    • There is a Horizon building, alluding to Horizon Labs where Morbius had worked at in the comics.
    • An Oscorp building with the logo from The Amazing Spider-Man Series is also seen in the second trailer. This is not in the released film.
    • A Daily Bugle newspaper discussing Morbius being apprehended for ‘vampiric murders’ shown in the trailer shows other stories about the Rhino and Black Cat.
    • A second Daily Bugle newspaper has a headline about the Chameleon (who will be appearing in Kraven the Hunter).
    • In the second trailer, Adrian Toomes tells Morbius they should keep in touch, referencing the times when Morbius was a part of the Sinister Six. Also not in the finished film, though he suggests that idea at the end.
    • At several points during the film - most prominently during the subway scene - an ad for a fictional fashion line called Thomas and Kane can be seen. Roy Thomas and Gil Kane were the co-creators of Morbius.
    • An early scene in the film shows a young Morbius being raised in Greece. Although the film version appears to be American, the comics version is Greek.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • Director Daniel Espinosa has confirmed that the much-debated "Spider-Man Murderer" image was not shot by him and was never going to be in the movie.
    • The trailers make it seem like the boy being admitted into the hospital who later gets bullied by some local schoolboys is a young Michael in a flashback scene. It's actually Milo, though this was presumably to conserve his identity and keep his presence to a minimum in order to avoid spoilers.
    • It's also implied in the trailers that Michael got his powers from the cave in Costa Rica where he retrieves the vampire bats, where in the actual movie he gets them on the ship a little while later.
  • Oh, Crap!: Michael has a major one of these moments halfway through the film when he realizes that Milo left his cane in Michael's holding cell, meaning that Milo 'cured' himself with the serum.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are created through science, and while needing to drink blood and having many superhuman abilities they aren't affected by sunlight or holy objects. This is in line with the comics, where "Living Vampires" like Michael are a separate classification from vampires like Dracula.
  • Plot Hole: In the second post-credits scene, the MCU version of Adrian Toomes meets Morbius while suited up in his Vulture gear, despite the fact that he got transported to the SSU in only his prison clothes and shouldn't know anyone in that universe that can craft his Vulture gear for him, especially given his previous associates had known him for years. There's also the fact that Stephen's second spell was partially meant to send the displaced heroes and villain back to their home universes, so Toomes should have remained in the MCU.
  • Race Lift: Agent Simon Stroud is a blond-haired, white man in the comics. In the movie he's played by the black Tyrese Gibson.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Compared to the more downcast and brooding Michael, Milo is much more upbeat and impulsive. This is more pronounced when they become vampires: Michael spends most of his time sulking over his newfound powers and sees it as a curse while Milo eagerly embraces it and develops a larger-than-life personality.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Martine seemingly dies in Michael's arms from injuries inflicted by Milo with Michael subsequently feeding on her body to gain the strength he needs for the final battle against Milo. Just before the credits roll, Martine reawakens, apparently revived (and possibly becoming a vampire herself in the process) by a single drop of Michael's vampire blood that fell into her mouth and was instinctively swallowed during her earlier death scene.
    • In the second post-credits scene, Michael meets with Adrian Toomes, who suggests the two of them form a team and start looking for other potential members to recruit.
  • Shirtless Scene: Justified to show the drastic physical changes the serum has caused in Michael and Milo.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Near the end of the first trailer, as Morbius is walking through the street, Adrian Toomes says to him "What's up, doc?" This is not in the released film.
    • The cargo ship Morbius conducts his experiments in is called the LCV Murnau.
    • Said cargo ship being used to transport a vampire and left an empty husk filled with murders references Dracula. The Count himself is mentioned when Michael claims he would have done a "full Dracula" on Martine.
    • When Milo shares his thoughts on love and relationships, Michael jokingly claims that he just quoted The Notebook.
  • Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying: Vampire bats roost in hollow trees, not caves, and their flocks seldom number more than a few dozen. Nor are they overt or aggressive predators, relying on stealth to delicately obtain blood from sleeping animals.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Milo creepily spies on Martine in her apartment at one point and later watches her kiss Michael from afar. It's implied that he has a crush on her and that he's jealous of his brother's relationship with her.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Simon Stroud is an FBI agent pursuing Morbius, but in their first meeting he mentions that Morbius's work on artificial blood saved Stroud's arm when he was in the military, and is willing to accept when evidence emerges that someone else is committing the more recent murders.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: During scenes set in Michael and Milo’s childhood, they are played by child actors.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers show Adrian Toomes in this film and imply that he wants Morbius to join an emergent Sinister Six, which is only revealed in The Stinger of the film itself.
  • The Unmasqued World: Implied with Rodriguez mentioning "that thing in San Francisco", the Daily Bugle newspapers mentioning Black Cat, Rhino and Chameleon, and Michael name-dropping Venom. While Morbius was supposed to be released before Let There Be Carnage, it was instead released after and therefore it can be presumed that the events of those films and Venom's existence have become public knowledge leading people to be more aware and accepting of the idea of things like a sick scientist turning himself into a vampire.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Morbius tries to be this using his artificial blood, but he quickly realizes its effectiveness drops with every usage.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: After his first transformation, Michael doesn't take it well when he sees the security camera footage of him mindlessly slaughtering the mercenaries that he had previously hired, thus cutting to one of these.
  • Was Once a Man: Michael Morbius was a man suffering from a rare blood disease and his transformation into a vampire is the result of him attempting to find a cure by any means necessary.
  • Wham Shot: After Milo visits Michael in his cell, the camera pans down to show Milo walking with his perfectly functioning legs, indicating that he's taken the vampire serum.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: During his first transformation, Morbius slaughters the eight mercenaries that were hired as security for his experiment. However, afterwards everyone in the movie, good or bad, just brushes it off for no other reason than that the victims were mercenaries, considering them expendable and assuming that by virtue of their profession they must've been guilty of "something".
  • Wolverine Publicity: The trailer shows graffiti of Spider-Man that reads "Murderer". However, that shot doesn't appear in the movie, and the director confirmed that it was added by the studio without his involvement, suggesting that the shot was added to piggyback on the popularity of the Spider-Man franchise. The presence of Michael Keaton in the trailer also falls under this trope, considering that he only has a brief post-credits cameo.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The cop who brought holy water to interrogate Morbius. At one point Martine checks to see if sunlight burns him.

Morbius: How far are we allowed to go to fix something that’s broken?
Nicholas: Until the remedy is worse than the disease.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Morbius


Dance Party of One

Milo dances and flexes in front of a mirror as he gets dressed.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShirtlessScene

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