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Every Time The Morbius Trailer Lied To Us

While date shifts were understandable for films during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, few movies danced around the calendar more than Sony's "Morbius," starring Jared Leto. In fact, the movie has the distinction of moving an incredible six times from its original release date of July 10, 2020 (yes, that long ago). The constant jumps don't merely suggest that there were tweaks made to the final product that hit theaters on April 1, 2022 – we can actually see what didn't end up making it into the film thanks to the handful of trailers.

From the plethora of previews we were given — most of which worked less to get us hyped for the film, and more to act as a reminder that "Morbius" actually exists — we can now see that a handful of scenes from the initial 2020 trailer and others didn't make it into the final film. In the end, the final version of "Morbius" lacks a lot of what we were promised, resulting in one big filmic fib. But just why were the cuts made? And perhaps more importantly, what do these omissions tell us about how much the film changed over the years? 

What happened to this giant coffin?

There are often occasions where trailers show alternate takes to final scenes, and because of that, we can let a few missing moments from "Morbius" slide. One, in particular, involves Dr. Michael Morbius testing his newly gained abilities, including super speed and strength, in his lab. While the film does show Morbius jumping around the joint, catching racket balls with his eyes closed, and bounding up bookshelves, one thing we don't see is a scene from the trailers of him lifting what looks to be a 7-foot stone coffin.

While it might be a minor retraction from the finished(?) product, it's worth noting given that this is essentially a vampire story, teeth and all. There must've been some reference to the giant artifact parked in his workspace that looks like something Count Dracula could've caught some z's in. But instead, it's never even seen in the final film. Whether a throwaway gag of Morbius' new potential sleeping arrangement or a link to his historical and scientific research on vampire bats, this was something that was put to bed for the end product.

Jared Harris is a lot less prominent than was originally suggested

Among the many cinematic crimes committed in "Morbius," one of the most significant offenses is underusing the always endearing Jared Harris. The star of "Chernobyl" and "Foundation" appears here as Dr. Emil Nicholas, the father figure and scientist that looked after both Morbius and his childhood friend, Milo (Matt Smith). Well, he kind of is, as we see him a lot less in the end product than the trailers initially suggested.

Presented as a moral compass for Morbius in the trailer from 2020, and even more so in the trailer from November, Harris looks to be clued into Morbius' experiences, even seen having a sit down with the hero to discuss his new abilities. This never happens in the film. Instead, Harris has more interactions and a seemingly closer relationship with Smith's character than Jared Leto's. It's one of the many bad routes taken in the final product because when Harris' character is killed off, there simply hasn't been enough time spent with him for it to mean much of anything. Perhaps it may have made more of a dent in the original cut, but here it's another critical moment for the story that lacks any bite.

Simon Stroud's special arm is given the elbow

On the long list of characters who were clearly originally going to have more screen time in "Morbius" than they eventually got, Tyrese Gibson's FBI Agent Simon Stroud is near the top. Sent on Morbius' trail after the incident out at sea, Stroud mentions to his suspect that the doctor's work saved him from losing an arm while serving in the military. After that, it's never noted again, nor do we see the after-effects. It might not be an issue here, but judging by the 2020 trailer, it was definitely a bigger deal initially.

In what looks to be another scene that never made the cut, the trailer shows Stroud and his partner, Alberto Rodriguez (Al Madrigal), accompanied by backup, presumably on the hunt for Morbius. Look closely at Stroud's arm, though, and you'll see that it has a variety of tubes attached to a special sleeve. Clearly, this looks to be something Stroud needed following his injury. Perhaps it was something that connects him to Morbius and could well have made the FBI agent's hunt all the more complex. It doesn't matter, though, as instead, Gibson's character is chopped down to a basic good guy with a badge that barely impacts the story whatsoever. 

Morbius' first trailer teased a Spider-Man reference we never saw

When the first teaser for "Morbius" appeared in the forgotten year of 2020, one highlight was seeing Morbius in a jail outfit running past a poster of Spider-Man (potentially Tobey Maguire's given the costume design), stamped with the word "murderer." Fans understandably tried to determine just how this would come to pass, given that "Spider-Man: No Way Home" hadn't arrived yet, and no multiverse madness had occurred. It turns out that was a concern we didn't even need to think about, as this and any mention of the webslinger — bar the post-credit scene (more on that later) — never even made it to the film.

With not even a glimpse of Spider-Man on show, we never know just which Spider-Man is swinging around this universe, if at all. The film refers only to ”that thing in San Fransisco” (aka Tom Hardy's "Venom"), suggesting he may not even exist in this universe. As a result, it makes the post-credit scene of this film even more confusing and perhaps the biggest bit part of a product we were promised but didn't get.

The Vulture's wings are severely clipped in Morbius

In addition to the Spider-Man reference in the first "Morbius" trailer, one character who was teased and heavily used in the previews was Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture. Seen speaking with Morbius near an emergency vehicle on a New York street, the footage around this snippet suggested it was early on in the film. The finalized meeting between these two characters was anything but.

Toomes instead appears thanks to the dimensional tear from "Spider-Man: No Way Home" in the post-credit scene where he talks with Morbius in a brief, and frankly baffling, meet-up. It seems to be a clear attempt to sandwich the film alongside a much more successful project, and it's made all the more confusing when you consider what they had initially planned before the delays. '

The original trailers hinted at Toomes having a lengthy chat with Morbius during jail time, with The Vulture discussing the potential path the living vampire would be headed down. But given that this was set to be released a good while before "No Way Home," how would his encounter even have happened? It's just one of the many plot threads of a version of "Morbius" that we were promised and never got, which, much like the titular hero, kind of sucks, overall.