While Tom Holland's Spider-Man enjoys synergetic success with both Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, the latter has been developing its own exclusive cinematic universe. Centered around Tom Hardy's Venom, Sony's interconnected world has utilized rogues from Peter Parker's comic gallery, despite the wall-crawler being nowhere to be seen. With two Venom films already under its belt, Sony expands its universe with Jared Leto's Morbius.
The Living Vampire's road to April 1 has been paved by unfortunate circumstances. Morbius wrapped filming nearly three years ago, but COVID-19 shelved its initial July 2020 release. The film would be delayed a total of six times before cementing its April Fools release date.
Unfortunately, the bad news doesn't end there.
Early screenings for Morbius left fans disappointed, with some calling the picture "as bad as you were expecting." Director Daniel Espinosa would then partake in a spoiler-filled interview one week before the film was made available to the public, which is quite the 180 from Spider-Man: No Way Home's heavily-guarded marketing campaign.
Regardless of the reviews and questionable marketing decisions, one Morbius star feels good about the film's sequel chances.
Matt Smith Hopeful for Morbius 2
The new Marvel legend arrives soon, and it sounds like he won't be leaving.
Speaking to Digital Spy, Morbius star Matt Smith noted he hopes the title character will "continue in multiple films" after his origin story.
"It's a new Marvel character for them to sink their teeth into, as it were. I'm sure Michael Morbius will be one that will keep returning, so hopefully it opens up a new world which will continue in multiple films beyond this."
Smith, who plays the "confusing" Milo, admitted he's in disbelief that the film is finally hitting theaters. The Doctor Who actor encouraged people to "go to the cinema" to take it in:
"We made it yonks (ages) ago, I can't actually believe it's coming out to be honest with you. I am excited for people to see it. I hope people enjoy it and I hope people go to the cinema to see it as well, because it's, you know, a movie."
What's Next for Michael Morbius?
Box office receipts will dictate the future of the Morbius franchise, but Sony Pictures likely has no plans to retire the title character after one film. Tom Hardy's Venom currently sits at 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, but its $856 million return left Sony with the easy decision to greenlight a sequel. The follow-up impressed even further, as 2021's Venom: Let There Be Carnage raked in the then-biggest domestic opening weekend haul of the pandemic era.
Current projections have Morbius generating around the $50 million range in its debut. Mix in its worldwide totals and future domestic weeks, and Morbius should easily make back its $75 million budget.
That said, it faces an uphill battle when it comes to promotional costs. Most six-month blockbuster marketing campaigns flirt with nine figures. Morbius's first trailer debuted over two years ago. Considering Morbius was delayed six times, including a last-minute push earlier this year, those release date changes could cost Sony "just under $5 million."
Despite the financial guessing game, Leto's Morbius is likely just getting started. Even if Sony gets cold feet about kickstarting a Morbius 2, the character could factor into a number of upcoming in-universe films, like Dakota Johnson's Madame Web or Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Kraven the Hunter.
Morbius hits theaters on April 1.