Jared Leto’s vampiric Marvel movie, Morbius, is heading back to theaters for a limited run and it’s all because of the memes.
To say Morbius was poorly received would be something of an understatement. The latest of Sony’s attempts to capitalize on their catalog of Spider-Man characters, following in the footsteps of Tom Hardy’s Venom, the film featured Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius and followed his transformation into a “living vampire.” The film flopped with critics and fans, but in the current age of the internet, a terrible movie can become just as big a sensation as a great one.
Morbius predictably inspired a slew of memes, including predictions of a “Morbius sweep” at the Oscars, videos adding the character into Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and the coining of the phrase “It’s Morbin’ time!” as an imagined catchphrase for the character. Many of the jokes revolved around pretending Morbius had been a huge critical and commercial success, in contrast to its appalling reception. But the irony may have been lost on Sony.
Amongst those few internet denizens who had not transcended irony to lose themselves in the world of Morbius memes, there was genuine concern that the endless Morbius jokes would see a sequel being greenlit. After all, no publicity is bad publicity. If people kept talking about the Jared Leto movie, Sony would certainly want to cash in on the renewed buzz, sincere or not.
It appears these fears were not far wrong. Morbius is returning to over 1,000 theaters this weekend, it has now been confirmed. Despite the critical response, the film performed well commercially, which may have boosted Sony’s confidence in a return to theaters alongside the online buzz around the film. It appears the Marvel label is a sure-fire way of getting people into the movie theater, regardless of the reviews.
Whether this could actually lead to Jared Leto’s return to the role in a Morbius sequel is another matter. It’s unlikely Sony would commit to a follow-up after the first film’s critical failure, but as Morbius‘ renewed theatrical run proves, you should never say never. The film’s heavily derided post-credits scenes featured an appearance from Michael Keaton’s Vulture, as seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming, in what appeared to be an attempt from Sony to profit off of some MCU brand recognition. Whether the teased crossover will come to fruition is yet to be seen.
Here is the synopsis for Morbius:
One of Marvel’s most compelling and conflicted characters comes to the big screen as Oscar® winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero, Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder, and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. What at first appears to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed and transforms this healer into a hunter.
Directed by Daniel Espinosa from a script written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, Morbius stars Jared Leto, Adria Arjona, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach produced the project with Lucas Foster, with Palak Patel overseeing it for Sony.
Morbius is now playing in theaters. Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news regarding Jared Leto’s Living Vampire, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content!