Originally written by Ana Dumaraog for Screen Rant
The first trailer for Sony's Morbius movie featured an appearance from Michael Keaton's Vulture. Directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius - a scientist who suffers from a rare blood disease who accidentally afflicts himself with vampirirsm - Morbius follows in the footsteps of Tom Hardy's Venom, which kicked off Sony's Spider-Man spinoff franchise.
As the budding film series slowly takes shape, questions about how it relates to the MCU became a hot topic among fans. Now, confusion is finally cleared up thanks to the first trailer of Morbius, which featured a string of evidence proving that Sony's universe somehow exists in the same reality as the MCU.
Specifics regarding how the MCU and Sony's franchise relate with one another are still unclear at the moment. However, Vulture's appearance in the Morbius trailer could be an indication of what's to come regarding the studios' ongoing partnership.
Vulture Was Last Seen In Spider-Man: Homecoming Mid-Credits Scene
Keaton's Adrian Toomes debuted in Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017. Directed by Jon Watts, it was Tom Holland's first solo outing in the MCU after his introduction in Captain America: Civil War. Toomes was a street-level criminal who scavenged Avengers battle scenes (particularly the Battle of New York) and made a business out of selling them. His operations were halted when Spider-Man caught wind of his operation, resulting in him being jailed at the end of the film.
The last time audiences saw Vulture was during Homecoming's mid-credit scene, in which he was serving his sentence in prison. He came into contact with Mac Gargan (Michael Mando) - one of his previous customers from his illegal business. Gargan, who eventually becomes Scorpion in the comics, asked Toomes about the real identity of Spider-Man, which Vulture surprisingly refused to give up, denying that he has that knowledge whatsoever. This is despite figuring out that young Peter Parker - schoolmate of his daughter Liz (Laura Harrier) and brief love interest - is the person under the mask.
Vulture Is Wearing His Homecoming Prison Clothes In Morbius
There's no concrete information regarding when Morbius fits in relation to MCU's timeline. Prior to the trailer's release, which revealed several details tying it in the superhero franchise, fans believed that Sony's spinoff series was removed from the MCU. However, with that no longer being the case, the public is interested to know how the events of the movie fit in the MCU. The newly-rolled out trailer features some clues, such as the fact that Toomes is wearing the same prison clothes he was wearing in the Homecoming credits scene.
While the initial assumption given this detail is that Morbius takes place around the same time as Homecoming, the Spider-Man "murderer" graffiti directly contradicts this notion. Instead, it implies that the events of the upcoming film takes place after Spider-Man: Far From Home and after Peter was framed for the death of Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). The question now is, how Vulture was able to get out of jail? Considering that he's still wearing his prison clothes, chances are that he escaped rather than freed - otherwise, he would've at least changed into something else. Or, it's possible that Morbius found himself crossing paths with Toomes, who may still be a prisoner in the movie.
Vulture May Want To Recruit Morbius For The Sinister Six
Vulture's cameo in the Morbius trailer and eventually in the film is potentially the first step at plans to work towards their Sinister Six plans. The group of Spider-Man villains from the comics has gone through various members over the years that, frankly, Sony and Marvel Studios can create their unique combination with regard to their big screen projects. Thus far, previous Spider-Man movies have introduced a string of notable bad guys, such as Mac Gargan/Scorpion (Michael Mando), Mysterio (albeit currently presumed dead), and Vulture. Meanwhile, the spinoff franchise already has Eddie Brock/Venom, Cletus Cassidy/Carnage (Woody Harrelson), and of course, Morbius.
At this point, there are already enough possible members to push through with the Sinister Six. However, there are also persistent rumors of Kraven the Hunter and Norman Osborn being set to debut on the big screen in the near future. It makes sense that some of these members are already starting to interact with each other, thus making it easier for Sony/Marvel to execute their Sinister Six story plans.
Vulture's MCU Future
The MCU is known for their one-off villains - single movie bad guys who end up getting killed at the end of the story. There's a very small number of villains who survive their first face-off with their hero counterparts, and typically, it's because Marvel Studios has bigger plan for them. Case in point: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). This is the reason why keeping the Vulture alive following the events of Homecoming was taken as an indication that his story is not finished just yet.
We haven't really checked up on Vulture since the last time we saw him, so it's difficult to gauge where his story is going. However, even before ties between the MCU and the Sony spinoff movies became apparent, fans were already convinced that he's going to partake in Marvel's seeming attempt at a Sinister Six story.
Other MCU Spider-Man Characters Who Could Appear In Morbius
With Vulture's appearance in the Morbius movie now confirmed, it's curious which other Spider-Man characters from the MCU will appear in the movie. The obvious choice is Peter Parker himself; however, a face-to-face with the title character may be something that Sony is saving for a future film. There's always a possibility of him simply swinging in the background of a shot, but considering where Far From Home left him, it's safe to assume that he won't boldly roam around New York like that. In any case, the graffiti Easter egg could be enough for fans to be reminded that he exists in this reality.
A more plausible choice is MCU's own J. Jonah Jameson. J. K. Simmons debuted the updated version of the character he first played in Sam Raimi's trilogy in the shocking Spider-Man: Far From Home mid-credits scene. Now running the Daily Bugle Net, it's not outside the realm of plausibility that Jameson somehow gets entangled in Morbius' story. Otherwise, he can appear as a new source reporting on what could be a prison breakout involving Vulture.
Morbius comes to Regal this summer, July 31. In the meantime, you can get your Marvel comics fill when Scarlett Johansson returns as Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow, coming to Regal May 1st. Tickets are now on sale.