In 2020, Morbius arrives on the big screen, to become the second entry in Sony’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, after Venom (2018). The movie – which was shot in London and Manchester under the working title of Plasma – tells the story of a scientist who is transformed into a living vampire.

Morbius stars Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius, alongside Adria Arjona as Martine Bancroft and Matt Smith as Loxias Crown. The film is regarded as a Spider-Man spin-off and marks the debut of Marvel’s Morbius on the big screen.

But did you know, that Morbius was originally set to appear in a Marvel movie long before 2020? In fact, he almost appeared in Blade (1998).


Was Morbius in Blade?

Image: ©New Line Cinema

If you have watched Blade (1998) – and you should, as it’s a great Marvel horror film – then you will know that Morbius does not appear anywhere in the movie. You can look high and low, and even turn the brightness up on some of the darker scenes of the film, but you won’t find him lurking in the shadows.

You won’t find Morbius in Blade, because he is not in the movie. However, he was originally set to appear in the film.

The character was initially included in the climax of the picture, as a tease for Blade II (2002). The character was to appear at the very end of the movie, to set up his appearance in the sequel.


What happened in the Morbius scene?

Image: ©Marvel Comics

While Morbius didn’t appear in the finished film, his introduction scene was filmed, and the scene was even included on the DVD release of Blade as an alternate ending. So, what happened?

Shortly after Blade’s showdown with Deacon Frost/La Magra, both Blade and Dr. Karen Jenson take to the rooftops, as the sun begins to rise. It is here that the two characters engage in a short exchange.

Dr. Jenson: “I never thought I’d be so happy to see the sunrise.” (Pause) “I need to get back to the lab, if I’m gonna cure you.”

Blade: “It’s over. You keep your cure – I’ve never felt better. Besides, as long as there is a war going on, I still have a job to do.”

Dr. Jenson: “Oh yeah, well then you’re back on the clock.”

Jenson indicates that someone or something is behind Blade.

The scene then switches to a shot of a figure in the distance. The figure – who is stood atop a nearby building – appears to be wearing a long coat.

Image: ©New Line Cinema

A close-up shot reveals the figure to be dressed in black. His coat and long hair blow in the wind, and his face is disguised by a scarf.

The scene cuts back to Blade.

Blade: “Damn.”

The scene ends as Blade begins to remove his sword from its sheath.


Who played Morbius?

Image: ©New Line Cinema

The deleted scene runs just under a minute in length and was designed purely to indicate that another ‘big bad’ was on the horizon. In the scene, Morbius is not mentioned by name, and was not played by a known actor – instead, Blade director, Stephen Norrington stood in to play the part.

As Morbius was merely teased in the scene, and was partially disguised, the director was able to step in for the shots in which he appears on screen. Had Morbius re-appeared in Blade II, then he would have no doubt been recast by an established actor.


Why was the Morbius scene not included in Blade?

Image: ©New Line Cinema

There’s been no official discussion on why the scene was not included, so it would simply appear that Norrington and New Line Cinema – the studio behind the movie – chose to take the ending in a different direction. Rather than set up a big character for a sequel, which is often the norm for movie series these days, it was less common in 1998 and films preferred to tie up loose ends.

Instead of including the Morbius scene, Blade instead concluded with the vampire hunter on the trail of a vampire in Russia. This scene – which was ultimately picked up in Blade II – suggested that Blade was back on the hunt for more vampires and that the war was never ending.


Did Morbius appear in the Blade sequels?

Image: ©New Line Cinema

Blade was followed by two sequels: Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004). While both movies included vampires – with a version of Dracula appearing in Blade: Trinity – neither of these films included Morbius.

While Morbius was once in line for inclusion in a Blade film, when New Line Cinema’s Blade trilogy concluded its run in 2004 the character was nowhere to be seen.


I hope this information about Morbius has proved useful to you. For further information about the Spider-Man movies and Sony’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, please take a look around Don’t Tell Harry – the Spider-Man movies blog.

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