In the final moments of the debut trailer for MORBIUS that launched last week, Marvel fans everywhere witnessed a cameo that nobody could have seen coming. Thanks to a very brief clip, it’s been confirmed that the legendary Michael Keaton will appear in the blockbuster, though the identity of his character is a mystery. The name is never mentioned, and there is no instantly recognizable features, but given Morbius’ connection to Spider-Man in Marvel Comics, there is one guess that looms large: Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture.
Michael Keaton played Toomes to much acclaim in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING — a film firmly set in the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — which has led fans to wonder if MORBIUS is connected to the Marvel Studios franchise. The movie is notably NOT a Marvel Studios production, as made clear by the "In Association With Marvel" title card that plays toward the beginning of the trailer. But there is some question as to whether Sony will try and shoehorn the adventure into the MCU.
It’s possible that Michael Keaton is playing a totally different character than Adrian Toomes, but assuming that he is, there are interesting avenues that could further integrate Morbius into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Starting with his potential connection to Toomes, we're led to wonder if fans could eventually see a big-screen version of the comic book villainous team known as the Sinister Six. Morbius isn’t exactly a classic member of this nefarious unit, but Jared Leto’s Morbius teaming up with Michael Keaton’s Vulture would make for a pretty powerful third of the ultimate group.
Getting his claws deeper into the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have to happen exclusively through Vulture, though. Let’s not forget that the AVENGERS-centric franchise will soon be introducing a very famous vampire hunter into the comic book movie world. BLADE is getting a reboot in the coming years, starring Mahershala Ali in the titular role, and Jared Leto’s Morbius (full name Morbius, the Living Vampire) could make for an interesting foe.
Lastly, there is just the most obvious path: having Morbius eventually connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe via an adventure starring Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. There is already a hint of Spider-Man existing in MORBIUS, as he can be seen depicted in a bit of graffiti (albeit, it’s the Spider-Man from the original Sam Raimi-directed trilogy). So, it’s not off the table that the character could appear in whatever becomes the sequel to SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME.
For now, all of this is just speculation, as we won’t know what’s really going on with MORBIUS until we see the actual film, but it’s exciting to think about the possibilities. We’ll get all of our questions answered this summer when MORBIUS arrives in theatres on July 31.
Stay tuned to the AMC Scene for more MORBIUS details!