Morbius teases the return of The Amazing Spider-Man universe

Does the new Morbius movie tease the return of Andrew Garfield's Amazing Spider-Man universe? Here's all the evidence we could find

Amazing Spider-Man returns with Morbius?

The Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters is weaving a wicked web of interconnected characters. A growing gallery of Spider-Man villains and antiheroes that expands the franchise beyond Tom Holland’s trilogy of action movies. The latest outing to spread its wings is Daniel Espinosa’s Morbius, which is taking a bite out of the box office and sinking its fangs into a much wider universe.

While critics haven’t been kind to Morbius, at least Jared Leto’s ‘Living Vampire’ helps set up a brighter future. Before Morbius hit cinemas, the spoilerific confirmation of Michael Keaton’s involvement teased the potential of the Sinister Six. This iconic cabal of Spider-Man villains needs a wall-crawling hero to go up against, and thankfully, Morbius also cues up a familiar face to tackle the Sinister Six. Warning: spoilers for Morbius ahead!

With Holland poised to return in a post-No Way Home world, most would expect him to be the Spider-Man the Sinister Six will face off against. Morbius teases a very different confrontation, with a potential return of Andrew Garfield, a continuation of his canned The Amazing Spider-Man arc, and even the resurrection of Drew Goddard’s Sinister Six spin-off that never came to be.

Despite critiques that not much happened in Morbius other than world-building, its post-credit scene helped catapult the story forward. With the Multiverse torn open by Doctor Strange in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes, aka Vulture, found himself transported to Dr Michael Morbius’ universe.

Toomes was freed from jail on the technicality he doesn’t exist in this world and later, met with Morbius in the desert. Although Toomes has beef with Holland’s Peter Parker and was last seen behind bars in Spider-Man: Homecoming, eagle/vulture-eyed fans noticed his new wings appear to be the same Vulture suit from Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Heading back to 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had its own tantalising tease of the Sinister Six – with a lineup that included Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Rhino, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, and Green Goblin. It’s unclear whether that was going to be Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin or the reanimated head of Norman Osborn that featured in the movie’s deleted ending.

Jump to 2022, and a revamped roster could keep most of the above but undoubtedly include Morbius – a neat tie to The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Back then, there was an Easter egg referencing Morbius when DeHaan’s Harry Osborn searched through the Oscorp computers and found files named ‘Venom Storage’ and ‘Dr. Morbius.’

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It’s no secret that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was supposed to be the midpoint of a trilogy, alongside a Sinister Six standalone branching out further. Instead, Sony and Disney brokered a deal that allowed Holland to take over and start the franchise afresh with Homecoming in 2017.

Garfield has been vocal about his heartbreak at being let go early, with No Way Home being something of a second chance. The Tick, Tick… Boom! star has also mentioned a potential return beyond this, telling the Happy Sad Confused podcast, “In terms of moving forward with the character, yes, I am definitely open to that, and again, it would have to be something very unique, very special, and of service to an audience, of service to the character.”

Away from Keaton’s new look, there were other nods toward the Amazing universe, thanks to a front cover of The Daily Bugle hinting at both Black Cat and Rhino. Although a headline about an actual rhino escaping a zoo is a tenuous link, an article reading “Black Cat: Friend or Foe?” is clearly referencing Felicia Hardy and her slinking alter ego.

Rogue One’s Felicity Jones played Hardy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and even though she never got to put on the mask, it’s thought she was going to play a bigger role in the sequel. There would be a sense of justice if she got to reprise her role, and let’s remember, Sony was once planning a Black Cat and Silver Sable buddy movie before the project was put on hold.

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Espinosa himself has given the biggest indication that the threads of The Amazing Spider-Man live on in Morbius. The director told CinemaBlend that Morbius lives in the same universe as Tom Hardy’s Venom. Topher Grace played Venom in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, so Tobey Maguire can’t be this timeline’s Spidey.

More recently, Espinosa explained to IGN how he’d be “killed” if he confirmed his vampire villain as canon in Garfield’s universe – suggesting that while he can’t give it the official stamp, it’s what he’d always envisioned. He told the site, “There are people at Sony that will have me shot [for saying anything] because then I will force them to commit to something. I have my thoughts and opinions and they are in the movie, and that’s what I’m pushing for.”

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Of course, Espinosa’s plans don’t necessarily marry up with everyone else’s. Mentions of the Morbius incident reminding the cops of “San Francisco” is a wink toward Venom. Another Daily Bugle headline mentioning Chameleon is a neat segue into Fred Hechinger’s role Dmitri Smerdyakov in the upcoming Kraven movie. Morbius cut a lot of its ties to a wider world.

As well as a wanted poster for Spider-Man suggesting it’s set in Sam Raimi’s franchise, a skyline shot of Oscorp was also left on the cutting room floor. Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn confirmed he didn’t exist in Holland’s universe in No Way Home, meaning Oscorp can’t tie Morbius to the MCU. It remains to be seen what makes it into the movie’s deleted scenes, but if Oscorp returns, it’s another big win for Garfield.

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Without Toomes is a variant from a different MCU timeline, the fact he transferred here means Holland is presumably out of the SPUMC unless everyone hops over to his world. At the time of writing, these are little more than Easter eggs that could bring everything together.

Sony and Disney can’t seem to decide where we draw the line between the SPUMC and the mainline MCU, with a pretty damning barrier confirming Kevin Feige has nothing to do with Morbius’ post-credit scene. If Feige is determined to keep Holland out of the sometimes confusing mess, that is the SPUMC and its seemingly never-ending mission to keep churning out villain movies, allowing Garfield to suit up as thisfranchise’ss Web-Head can keep everyone happy.

Remembering that Holland fought his own Sinister Six-lite (effectively a Foul Five) of Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Electro, Sandman, and Lizard in No Way Home, all sides will want to avoid retreading familiar territory.

A roster that brings together Morbius, Venom, Vulture, Kraven, and two more mystery guests looks increasingly likely, while uniting them against a common enemy ofGarfield’ss friendly neighbourhood hero makes a lot of sense. None of this might matter anyway. With a shadow of doubt hanging over the future of Morbius,it’ss just as possibleLeto’ss dashing doc will be a one and done, as our hopes of Garfield suiting up once more are confined to the crypt of great Spider-Man movies that never came to be.