Sony Pictures released the teaser trailer for the second installment in their Spider-Man Universe of Marvel Characters today and comic book movie fans were rattled by a reveal in the trailer’s final moments.
Michael Keaton’s appearance in the film, which was already rumored to include JK Simmons‘ J Jonah Jameson and a visual reference to Spider-Man’s status as a “murderer” following Spider-Man: Far From Home, set the internet ablaze with speculation.
Though it’s not made clear in the trailer, it’s certainly implied that Keaton is playing the same character in Morbius as he did in Spider-Man: Homecoming…Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture. While many have speculated this might be taking place in an alternate timeline or universe, Sony’s making a fairly obvious statement here by having Keaton wear the same attire he was wearing when we last saw him in prison in Homecoming.
And so the confusion grows and while we probably cannot expect an official answer anytime soon, it’s also probably not that tough to decode. Disney and Sony went back to the negotiation table over extending Tom Holland’s MCU contract past the 3 crossover films and 2 solo films and it’s likely that the outcome was something like this:
- Holland will be able to appear in MCU solo films and crossovers for the foreseeable future. This is partly fact and partly speculation. Holland wants to play the character and he wants to continue to play along with the other characters in the MCU. Don’t underestimate Holland’s pull in this.
- Sony has always had the option to use the characters they own who appeared in the MCU films. Keaton’s Toomes showing up here is striking, but I would be the deal he signed was with Sony, not Disney, so it was always a possibility. However, now that they have pulled the trigger, it won’t be a surprise to see Michael Mando, Donald Glover, Bokeem Woodbine or others show up.
- Sony and Disney probably came to some understanding that, while it allowed Marvel Studios to continue to use Holland, also made it clear Sony was going to start using him too.
- Sony is going to make movies that contain characters that appeared in the MCU, including Spider-Man, but it is highly unlikely that those movies will have any impact at all on the larger narrative of the MCU, but they might, eventually, have some impact of what role Spider-Man plays there.
- Somebody is making a Sinister Six film.
Outside of that, the trailer looks better than I anticipated and, from the one glimpse we get of him in the trailer, it looks like Leto’s Morbius is one of the better comic-to-screen adaptations we’ve seen.
Morbius hits theaters July 31, 2020.