Sony Pictures' Spider-Man Universe expanded outside of the Venom franchise recently. Jared Leto's Morbius, initially set for a July 2020 release, made its long-awaited debut in theaters to a less than favorable reaction. Ratings for Morbius placed it more akin to Fantastic Four (2015) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance than recent hits like Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Morbius.
Despite being peppered with nods to The Incredible Hulk, The Dark Knight, and X-Men, the living vampire's narrative largely stood on its own until the post-credits scenes. The tags in question featured Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes, reprising his role from the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Spider-Man: Homecoming. Per Spider-Man: No Way Home's Multiversal rift, Toomes was transported from the MCU into Morbius's universe and subsequently released from prison.
The follow-up scene had Toomes, now complete with his Vulture gear, confront Leto's Morbius on a desert highway. Vulture noted he suspects his uprooting is the work of Spider-Man and proposes he and Morbius "team up and do some good."
While Keaton's Vulture was teased heavily in every Morbius trailer, none of the promotional material he featured in made it into the film.
Morbius Director Addresses Deleted Vulture Scenes
What's up, Doc?
Speaking to Uproxx, Morbius director Daniel Espinosa clarified that the trailer footage of Michael Keaton's Vulture was axed due to the scheduling switch with Spider-Man: No Way Home:
"The first thing that happened was that we had Michael Keaton because we were planning on doing this. But then when Spider-Man: No Way Home came out, it said, 'This is how the visual effects are.' And then the idea of having him just encountering him in that universe seemed too complicated, and then we put it in the end."
Espinosa doubled down on the reasoning, noting he "didn't know" how Vulture's appearance would have worked without No Way Home:
"Yes, because we have to match… I didn’t know how the transportation would look like in that."
Originally, Morbius was scheduled to arrive a full calendar year before No Way Home, which is why Vulture's appearance "had to be addressed." Espinosa continued that the idea of "different timelines" was something Sony Pictures "initiated," and he believes the universe-hopping is just beginning:
"That wasn’t done, that didn’t exist, so there were all these small things that had to be addressed. But I think that the concept of having different timelines were, I believe, came from Sony, not from Kevin Feige. It was Sony that initiated that idea. I think that Miles Morales that you have in Spider-Verse, I would bet your life on that you would have Miles Morales from the Spider-Verse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point."
Sony's Sinister Six, Outside the MCU
There's no telling what the original July 2020 Morbius looked like, but there's a good chance it would've been even more convoluted than what fans got in April 2022. While explanations behind Vulture's re-acquired gear and newfound vendetta against Spider-Man remain non-existent, his transportation into the Sony Universe at least has some semblance of sense.
Even saying that, Doctor Strange's spell permitted that those who knew Peter Parker's arachnid alias would enter the MCU, not the other way around. Vulture leaving, even if the method of transportation was there, breaks that logic.
Sony has said they plan to continue their "terrific working relationship" with Marvel Studios on future Spider-Man movies, but it does not sound like that includes anything else. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige's lack of involvement with Morbius, a film that directly pulls a visual from an MCU installment, only emphasizes that his fingerprints won't be on Kraven the Hunter and Madame Web.
Morbius is now in theaters.