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It’s Morbius Time: Sony Releases First Trailer

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Forget Iron Man. Spidey, hang up your webs. the REAL star of the Marvel Universe is here, the one everybody has been waiting for….MORBIUS!

Yeah, okay, barely anyone has heard of this guy. He’s getting a movie because Sony’s ownership of the Spider-Man movie rights means it also owns all the ancillary characters specific to Spider-Man’s world. Beginning with Venom, Sony started carving out its own mini-corner of the MCU. You can count on a lot more of these to appear in their quest for the almighty dollar (or yen), though their Marvel connection isn’t a guarantee of their success.

Morbius’ backstory is a weird one, and we’re not referring to his own origin. At the time of his creation, Marvel wanted a vampire character but the Comics Code circa 1971 would only allow classic literary monsters like Dracula; otherwise vampires were forbidden. As a result, Morbius is “vampire-inspired,” with powers similar to what Dracula might have, but not classified as one.

In this film, Dr. Michael Morbius is dying or a rare blood disorder, and decides it’s now or never to find a cure. He conducts experiments on himself, and though he does wind up curing his affliction, the side effects make an FDA approval unlikely. Morbius can now hypnotize those who attack him, use super-strength and speed, and utilize echolocation much like a bat can. He also now has a thirst for blood, which might be a problem.

Most people of a certain generation remember Morbius from Spider-Man: The Animated Series, where due to even stricter Fox Kids censorship, his story got even more muddied: he was given “plasma-sucking hands” because blood could not be mentioned and he couldn’t bite anyone.

Jared Leto plays the titular character. Adria Arjona plays his fiancĂ©e Martine, who now has to deal with this. Doctor Who’s Matt Smith is Morbius’ friend Loxias Crown. And there’s one other actor, whom you’ll have to watch the trailer to see (no spoilers from us). Sony’s Morbius will be out July 31.