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This MCU Villain Cameo Has Morbius Fans Scratching Their Heads

The final trailer for Sony's "Morbius" is finally here, and it's already confusing fans thanks to conflicting Easter eggs and cameos that are pulled from across the Marvel Universe. The horror-tinged comic book movie follows Jared Leto's titular character, Dr. Michael Morbius, whose rare blood disease pushes him to experiment on himself using a rare species of bat. He winds up gaining extraordinary abilities, but he also has to deal with a thirst for blood.

Former "Doctor Who" star Matt Smith is part of the cast as Loxias Crown — another person with the same blood disease as Morbius. In the comics, Crown is one of Morbius' regular opponents, so it's highly likely that the pair will end up fighting each other in the 2022 movie. Sony references a number of other villains in the trailer. There is a nod to Black Cat on the Daily Bugle's front page. Also, at the end of the footage, Morbius jokingly calls himself Venom — a clear nod to Tom Hardy's symbiote antihero.

But there's another villain who shows up to taunt Morbius in a bizarre way, and his cameo has fans a little confused about the state of Sony's Spider-Man Universe.

Which version of Michael Keaton's Vulture are we seeing?

We're talking about Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes, aka Vulture, again. The villain appears in the first trailer wearing the same prison outfit he sports in the "Spider-Man: Homecoming" post-credits scene. Many fans took that to mean that "Morbius" takes place in the MCU. However, the jokes about Venom in the final trailer, combined with another brief appearance from Keaton, have confused some fans on Reddit. In a thread posted to subreddit r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers, user u/dylanc87 wrote, "I still don't get how the f*** the movie has direct references to Venom (which ['Let There Be Carnage'] completely confirmed is separate from the MCU)," before adding, "and at the same time has Toomes. Like, Sony has clearly decided to distinguish their universe from the MCU."

As the Redditor points out, the Sony films mainly take place in a completely separate universe because of the "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" post-credits scene, so it's bizarre that Keaton's Vulture is now part of it. Unfortunately, there isn't a specific answer until both "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and "Morbius" eventually arrive in theaters. It's entirely possible the SPUMC may be folded into the MCU following the events of the "Spider-Man" sequel, or the studio might pull all of its characters back into a separate line of continuity.

However, the other possibility is that the version of Vulture seen in "Morbius" is completely different from the one in "Homecoming." We are in multiverse territory now, after all. Or, as u/SymbolicGamer puts it on Reddit, "It's the multiverse. They ain't gotta explain s***." Fair point.

We'll find out more when "Morbius" arrives in theaters on January 28, 2022.