After multiple delays, Morbius, Sony's latest addition to its Spider-Man Universe, has finally arrived in theaters. Whether fans wish it had is another question. While audiences have their issues with the film's plot and quality, much of the outcry stems from the film's misleading promotional campaign and the use of Michael Keaton's Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Following Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Morbius was intended to be the third installment in Sony's MCU adjacent Spider-Man Universe. When delays led to the project releasing after Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans were curious to see how the studio would continue to handle the existence of Multiversal Spideys in the following film.
This intrigue was only heightened by the fact Morbius' trailer featured references to both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man franchises, as well as a clip of Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes or the Vulture.
Shockingly, neither Keaton nor those web-slinging moments were included in the main film. And, to make matters worse, Morbius' post-credits scenes involving Keaton seemingly contradicted Spider-Man: No Way Home's Multiversal precedent.
Naturally, fans have questions, particularly in regard to Keaton's part in the film; and now Morbius' director, Daniel Espinosa, has confirmed that additional, unseen footage of the Homecoming villain exists.
Morbius Director Talks Cutting Michael Keaton Scene
When Variety asked Daniel Espinosa about any footage between Morbius and Vulture that didn't make the final cut, the Morbius director admitted, "There's not much more, but there's always a bit on the cutting room floor:"
"There was a moment where we were playing more with this idea that it would be more intricate of how people saw each other. When you make movies, you have all these different ideas, and then we made the decision to make it pure and put it toward the end because it’s clearer. That’s what people do. There’s not much more, but there’s always a bit on the cutting room floor."
Due to the film's multiple delays, many speculated that No Way Home led Sony to make changes to Morbius, including those scenes featuring Keaton, considering the actor admitted to shooting more scenes ahead of the film's release.
When Espinosa was asked just when that final scene between Morbius and Keaton's Vulture was originally shot, the director claimed that "many of those Vulture scenes were shot from the beginning:"
"Many of those Vulture scenes were shot from the beginning. What had to be changed was the physiology of how to move between worlds."
The director then went on to explain just who's responsible for "the idea of moving between worlds," confirming that it was "invented by Sony, not by the MCU:"
"The idea of moving between worlds was invented by Sony, not by the MCU. They did it and then I had to adjust. That’s the thing with the Marvel universe, in the comic books it’s always expanding. There are rules you’re slowly setting up together, but the creators are different. The whole idea of the Marvel universe is you have to create the collaboration so they function together. If you have Chris Claremont who’s working on X-Men and he spoke to Steve Ditko, there are clearly different perspectives, and if J. Michael Straczynski gets involved, they have to collaborate to make those rules."
How Morbius "Had to Adjust" to Sony & No Way Home
Did Morbius suffer because it followed Spider-Man: No Way Home? Considering the director's statements, it sure sounds like it.
Espinosa's admission about additional Vulture footage - as well as his decision "to make it pure and put it toward the end" - is certainly interesting. It implies that there were different plans for the Spidey villain early on in production, and his role wasn't supposed to be limited to just post-credits scenes.
Also, his claim that Sony invented the "moving between worlds", leading him to have "to adjust" suggests there may have been a different plan for how and why Vulture was able to cross into Sony's Spider-Man Universe.
If so, it would be interesting to learn if Morbius' writers were originally tasked with explaining the crossing between different universes and what that explanation was supposed to be.
Now, whether fans will ever learn the truth behind Morbius' production and how No Way Home affected the film remains to be seen. In the meantime, Sony faces an uphill battle with comic book film fans in terms of managing new low expectations for Kraven the Hunter and Madame Web, as well as audience interest in its own attempt to build a Marvel universe.
Morbius is playing in theaters now.