The existence of the multiverse in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the ‘Venomverse’ — as Morbius director Daniel Espinosa refers to the Sony Marvel movies spearheaded by Tom Hardy’s symbiote character Venom – paves the way for almost anything to happen. Including the two hitherto largely separate movie universes intertwining all the more.
We’ve already had the tease during the post-credits sequences of Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home of the two universes properly connecting beyond hints and references. Now, with the release of Morbius, it seems like all bets are off in terms of characters – and different versions of characters — we could see cropping up in either series of movies.
Doctor Morbius vs Doctor Strange
It’s not beyond the realms of possibility, then, for Morbius to meet Doctor Strange at some point in the future — whether as played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the MCU or in the form of a different version — though Espinosa makes it clear that he’d be in serious trouble if he actually talked spoilers for the future of the franchise.
“There’s an episode in one of the issues [of the comics] where Michael Morbius fights Doctor Strange,” says Espinosa, speaking to Fandom ahead of the release of Morbius, a film which tells the origin story of Marvel’s original Living Vampire. “I thought that was quite interesting. He has a long arc of fighting Spider-Man, of course, and I think it would be interesting to see where we can develop this Venomverse, if you would call it that, with all these new characters that are coming up.”
The comic Espinosa mentions is likely Doctor Strange: Sorceror Supreme Vol 1 #52 in which the Lord of Dreams himself, Nightmare, takes control of Morbius with the intention of ambushing Strange – it works and results in Morbius-as-Nightmare overpowering the Sorceror Supreme with ease. Nightmare goes on to take control of Strange but once Morbius is free, the living vampire attacks Nightmare and frees the good doctor.
Espinosa also mentions upcoming new characters. While part of the MCU but not the Venomverse as yet, vampire Blade could also make an interesting crossover with Morbius and associated characters. Matt Smith, for one — who plays antagonist Milo/Lucien in Morbius — would love to see his character face off against the bloodsucker, played by Mahershala Ali in the upcoming reboot.
“I think he’d get his ass whupped, to be honest, by Blade,” says the former Doctor Who. “I love those Blade films. There’s a new Blade happening now, isn’t there? Very exciting. I always loved that first opening scene in Blade 1 where he goes into the nightclub and all the blood comes down. I’d love [for my character to meet him] but I’m sure Michael Morbius will get a chance before Milo to go and fight Blade.”
Hunger for Loxias Crown
There was speculation that Smith’s character was in fact Loxias Crown aka Hunger from the comic books, a villainous character with Hydra connections attacked by Morbius and consequently also transformed into a living vampire — and a character that might be well equipped to tackle Blade. But Smith refutes this.
“I’m not sure [Milo tracks very closely with Loxias], to be honest,” says Smith. “What was presented to me wasn’t always that closely linked to Loxias as far as I’m aware, so my bible was the script that I got. No one ever directed me towards Loxias. It would have been good if they did because apparently, he goes on and on and on and on and on.”
So Smith would like to continue in the franchise, it’s fair to assume. But how would he want to see Milo develop if he should get the opportunity to explore him further?
“I think you’d need to push him into more of a sort of vampiric baddy,” says Smith. “An out-and-out baddy whose powers become much more vampire-like, and more dominant.”
What Next for Martine Bancroft?
Given Milo’s backstory in the film, it wouldn’t be a stretch to actually see him become one of the good guys and team up with Morbius and the doctor’s friend/colleague/love interest Dr. Martine Bancroft, played by Adria Arjona in the film. Or perhaps three is a crowd…
“I would like to explore the relationship between Martine and Michael Morbius and what that morphs into now that he’s a healthier version; now that he has more of an ability to control himself,” says Arjona of what she’d like to see in a sequel for her character. “I want to see that duo, and them team up.”
The film charts Dr. Michael Morbius’s efforts to develop a cure for a chronic rare blood disease he — and others, such as his friend Milo — suffer from. The resulting formula triggers an incredible yet monstrous transformation in him, giving him awesome new abilities — and an all-consuming thirst for human blood. As with any origin story, Morbius faces a struggle to get a handle on his newfound powers.
Martine’s arc certainly leaves us wanting to see what comes next for Arjona’s doctor, arguably the film’s most moral character. The film’s ending leaves director Espinosa, like Arjona, keen to dive into Morbius’s next moves.
“I think in many ways it would be interesting to see where Michael Morbius goes now he has accepted his powers, accepted his possibilities, and what kind of decisions he would make for his own future,” says Espinosa.
Will Morbius and Venom Meet?
While Venom gets a namecheck in Morbius, Espinosa would ultimately love to see Venom and Morbius share screen space.
“They’re very different,” he says. “I think it just would be fun to see Tommy [Hardy as Venom] and Jared [Leto as Morbius] just go off at each other. I think that would be a blast.”
And what about a Spider-Man versus Morbius showdown? Is that something he wants to see? Both Tom Holland who plays the web-slinger and Leto have reportedly said they’d like it to happen.
“Who wouldn’t?” he says. “Who wouldn’t want to see more Tom Holland, no matter what? I think he’s a wonderful actor; [and it’s] a wonderful character. I think what they have created within the MCU is really, really beautiful. I think all those possibilities of intertwining any of these heroes are interesting.”
But what we all want to know is who do they think would win out of Morbius and Spidey? Both Arjona and Espinosa agree.
“I think it’s going to be very hard for [Spider-Man] to win against Morbius,” says Espinosa. “But it becomes a bit like a ‘Who’s stronger, Superman or the Hulk?’ kind of discussion that we comic book nerds love to have — we always know that we cannot answer because the answer’s endless.”
Whatever the outcome, we comic-book nerds can look forward to one day perhaps seeing the first-ever big-screen fight between two kickass characters.
Morbius hits screens in the UK on March 31, 2022 and in the US on April 1, 2022.
Check out our guide to Marvel’s most significant vampires below.