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Small details you missed in the Morbius trailer

Comic book fans are about to go batty in a way they haven't yet before. 

On January 13, Sony Pictures dropped the first teaser trailer for Morbius, the Jared Leto-starring feature based on the Marvel Comics character Dr. Michael Morbius — a brilliant, Nobel Prize-winning biologist and biochemist who suffers from a rare blood disease that has left him pale, gaunt, physically impaired, and the subject of rigorous testing in search of a cure. When his symptoms grow too intense, Dr. Morbius takes matters into his own hands, venturing to formulate his own cure through experimental science involving bats. Dr. Morbius is seemingly well aware of the risks and goes through with the procedure nonetheless, traveling to what appears to be the edge of a bat cave and performing a blood sacrifice that turns up a harrowing consequence: he's now afflicted by a new ailment — vampirism, thus becoming Morbius the Living Vampire.

The Morbius trailer does an excellent job setting up the core story of the film while also introducing a handful of characters, bringing viewers into a darker corner of the Marvel Comics canon, and teasing high-stakes action as Morbius battles between his human and monstrous sides. Also at play in the first-look footage are subtler moments that offer added significance — ones that likely slipped right under your radar. 

Here are the small details you missed in the Morbius trailer.

"At what cost?" is a line of serious foreshadowing

The first 45 seconds or so of the Morbius trailer establish that the doctor is suffering greatly because of his illness. He's shown with wires taped to his head and neck, struggling to walk with forearm crutches, and hunched over a bed as a fellow doctor meticulously counts the vertebrae of his spine protruding from his skin. In a voiceover, he says, "I'm running out of time." 

It soon becomes clear that Dr. Morbius intends to — or at least intends to attempt to — cure his blood disease using non-traditional medicine and his own devices, which raises a red flag to the woman working alongside him. When Morbius says that what he's discovered would be a cure, she asks, "At what cost?"

This line is more than just one coming from a concerned colleague — it's foreshadowing of the highest degree. The woman who speaks it is Martine Bancroft, Morbius' fianceé played by Adria Arjona. Throughout the Marvel comics, Martine actually dies several times, is resurrected, and eventually becomes a living vampire herself. It's unclear at this point in time whether the Morbius film will depict the death, subsequent revival, and transformation of Martine, but comics canon evidences that she has indeed faced death and been afflicted with vampirism. If nothing else, Morbius may only show Martine's death — the greatest cost Dr. Morbius must make in exchange for "curing" his disease. 

Michael Keaton's Vulture appears in the Morbius trailer

While several members of the Morbius cast were announced far before the release of this first trailer, one actor's involvement in the film came as a complete surprise — and was only revealed through the new footage. At the very end of the Morbius trailer, Michael Keaton appears as Vulture, a.k.a. Adrian Toomes, the villain of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Those who stuck around for the Spider-Man: Homecoming post-credits scenes might recognize what the salvager-slash-arms-trafficker is wearing in the Morbius trailer. As a hooded Morbius approaches his white van, Vulture is shown is donning the same prison jumpsuit he was in Homecoming's mid-credits stinger. Since his appearance in the Morbius trailer is so brief, there's no way to tell when exactly the meeting between Vulture and Morbius takes place in the movie's timeline. Because of that, it's also not clear how significant Keaton's role in the film will be. 

That doesn't mean Keaton's appearance is all for show and shock, though. Vulture's brief, end-of-trailer reveal might allude to the early foundations for a potential Sinister Six team-up on the silver screen. While the Spider-Man villain team has had numerous iterations in the comics, several of its key or recurring baddies — including Venom, Mysterio, Doctor Octopus, and Green Goblin have already appeared in both Sony's Spidey offerings and its shared MCU installments. 

While nothing has been confirmed, Keaton's surprise cameo in Morbius is much larger than the return of a famous face — it could signal a more connected and expanding web of the Spidey universe.

Morbius makes mention of the Far From Home fallout

With Sony already launching (or planning to launch) so many Spider-Verse movies, it's hard to keep up with who and what we can expect to see out of the growing web of adaptations. One image captured within the Morbius trailer helps further that confusion — or air of mystery, depending on whom you ask. 

In the first-look footage, in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, Morbius walks past a mural of Spider-Man with the word "murderer" spray-painted across it.

There are a couple things to pull apart from the moment, the first being Spidey's outfit. It appears to be a blend of several Spider-Man suits, but looks most similar to Sam Raimi's version. If you can remember all the way back to the 2000s, Tobey Maguire embodied the web-slinger when Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy was dominating silver screens. If you were a hardcore fan of those films, you may have also bought the PlayStation 4 exclusive Spider-Man game featuring an animated version of Peter Parker wearing a Raimi-like suit — which is seemingly the same suit shown in the mural that appears in the Morbius trailer.

The second noticeable thing is the actual language covering the image. The "murderer" statement points to Tom Holland's most recent turn as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home. During the final scenes of that film, Peter is accused of killing Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) using footage the villain doctored and sent to J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), who broadcasted it in a video posted to TheDailyBugle.net.

There's no clarity about what this moment in the Morbius trailer could mean just yet, but here's to hoping a legit Spidey cameo happens in the theatrical cut.

Matt Smith's Morbius character is more important than you realize

Later on in the trailer, there's a shot of Matt Smith's character: him walking cautiously through a seemingly abandoned subway station. In the film, Smith doesn't play some random tie-wearing dude who likes to walk around alone at night — he plays Loxias Crown.

Smith's Loxias Crown is to be the central antagonist of Morbius, so it's curious that he's featured only briefly and without any dialogue. The trailer is cut to imply that perhaps Morbius is mostly his own worst enemy, and Crown could be more so a secondary threat to him. However, Smith's character has been described as "Morbius' best friend." So, what's going on here?

In the Marvel comics, Crown is best known as Hunger — another vampire whose origin is unknown and who has nothing to do directly with the events that lead to Morbius transforming into a pseudo-vampire. But there's also the character of Emil Mikos, Dr. Morbius' closest friend and lab associate who dies as a result of Morbius' post-transformation confusion and bloodlust — only to be made into a vampire by other unrelated comic character later. 

Since Smith's character has Crown as a last name, it's been assumed from the get-go that he's partially inspired by the preexisting Marvel antagonist (comics Crown has no canonical first name at all), and the rest of his characterization is filled in by the general concept of Emil Nikos. Smith's character will reportedly be afflicted by the same blood disease Morbius is, which is the basis of their friendship — and perhaps its ultimate destruction, once Morbius kinda-sorta cures and curses himself. 

It's strange, however, that the trailer heavily features Morbius as a boy with seemingly no friends at all — besides Jared Harris' still-unnamed character, who serves as Morbius' mentor. Is he Emil Nikos, fated to die? Where, then, does Loxias Crown fit in amongst Morbius' relationships?

Tyrese Gibson's Morbius character is just as crucial

The Morbius trailer also gives us a good look at Tyrese Gibson's character, whom we know from one of the actor's Instagram posts to be FBI Agent Simon Stroud. In the pages of Marvel comics, Stroud is an Agent-of-S.H.I.E.L.D.-turned-mercenary who seems to always find himself tangled up with the weirder denizens of the Marvel universe — including Morbius and Man-Wolf, the alter-ego of John Jameson, the son of a certain cigar-chomping, blowhard newspaper publisher.

Stroud is sporting some interesting tech in his brief appearance in the Morbius trailer. He's seen wearing a sleeve that appears to offer augmentation for his right arm — and specifically his hand, each knuckle of which looks to receive either chemical or electrical stimulation from the device. Stroud was never depicted as having any kind of enhancements in the comics, and this one raises an interesting question: Who built the thing? Stroud often worked side-by-side with Morbius in the comics, and this tech looks like the kind of thing that the good doctor — with his Nobel Prize-winning expertise in physiology and medicine — might have constructed. 

Obviously, Stroud won't be depicted as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in this film, as the Sony Universe of Marvel Characters and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are still ostensibly separate (for now). Still, Stroud's dapper attire and the fact that he's seen backed by a phalanx of cops seem to indicate that he'll be in some kind of position of authority — meaning that Morbius may very well have a friend in high places to help unstick him from tricky situations.