Sony Pictures’ latest Spider-Man movie spin-off, Morbius, has finally arrived in cinemas. The movie – which was shot in 2019 – has had a delayed release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is now available for all to see.
Those who have followed the movie’s journey from production through to exhibition will know this release has been a long time coming. The film was originally due to be released back in early 2020, with a promotion campaign advertising its (then) imminent arrival, but after the pandemic started everything fell by the wayside and the movie was temporarily shelved.
In the couple of years in between 2020 and 2022, there have been three movie trailers put out to advertise Morbius, all of which have teased some very interesting scenes in the movie. However, if you’ve now watched the film you might be feeling a little confused, as a number of these scenes are simply nowhere to be seen in the finished product.
Did you imagine these trailers and this additional footage, or has the finished film been edited over the past couple of years to remove or alter a few scenes? Well, the simple answer is ‘yes’, the film does appear to have been altered somewhat ahead of its release, and some of the scenes included in the three trailers have been dropped from the finished film.
In this post I am going to be taking a look at the trailers for Morbius, to highlight what was initially promoted, and what is now missing from the film. There are a number of key scenes missing from the final film, so if you’re sat scratching your head wondering what has been removed, this post should help you out.
But before I get to the missing footage, you are probably wondering why the scenes are missing?! And this is of course a very good question.
There has been no official word from Sony Pictures on what has been removed from Morbius, or why it has been snipped, but it is likely the scenes were cut from the picture for story reasons. Morbius was initially due to arrive in cinemas ahead of Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), but when the film was bumped further along the release schedule it would seem like alterations needed to take place to smooth out any story inconsistencies.
Anyway, let’s take a look at what is missing from the movie. There have been three different trailers for Morbius, and each brings its own little snippets.
Trailer No.1 arrived in January 2020, when the movie was originally just mere months away. The trailer ran for two-minutes and fifty-five seconds, and for the most part the footage used in this trailer stuck very closely to the footage used in the film.
However, there are two very notable exceptions. The first of which includes a reference for Spider-Man, in the shape of a poster featuring the word ‘murderer’.
For those who have yet to watch Morbius, this poster does not feature in the finished film, and neither does Spider-Man. And because there is no reference to this scene in the movie, there is also no explanation for why anyone would think Spider-Man was a murderer in the first place!
But, remembering that Morbius was originally supposed to be released between the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), it is likely this poster was initially supposed to make reference to the Mysterio/murder plotline set up in those two films. It would seem that originally, there was a bit more of a crossover here between the MCU and Sony’s Spider-Verse, before this got cut.
For those who are interested, this scene was shot in Manchester in the UK back in spring 2019. It was one of a number of scenes that were shot in Manchester (more about that later).
The other scene from the first trailer which did not feature in the finished film was a sequence involving Adrian Toomes, as played by Michael Keaton. In the scene, Toomes can be seen interacting with Michael Morbius, while stood beside an emergency vehicle.
While the two characters do meet in Morbius, it is not in the scene depicted in the trailer. They also meet when Toomes is wearing his Vulture costume, not in regular clothes.
Based on what happens in the film, if I was to hazard a guess, this scene from the trailer would have originally appeared midway through the movie, when Dr. Michael Morbius is arrested by the police. Presumably when this scene was cut from the film, the Toomes cameos (there are two) were moved to the mid-credits scenes instead.
I also suspect these mid-credit scenes were shot at a much later date, long after this first trailer was released. Toomes has his face covered in the new scene when he and Morbius meet, suggesting this was a last minute alteration to the story, and Keaton wasn’t available to film this sequence in person.
OK, now onto the second trailer, which was released in November 2021. This trailer ran for three-minutes and four seconds and includes more inconsistencies.
The first inconsistency comes from a voice over, delivered by Tyrese Gibson who plays FBI Agent Simon Stroud in the film. In the voice over, Morbius is in police custody and Stroud states that the vampire has been missing for two months, but was found washed up on a container ship.
If you watch the film, you know that this voice over does not match the events of the movie. In the film, the police/FBI do take Morbius into police custody, but he was not found on a ship.
For the next inconsistency, this second trailer includes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of Oscorp. This shot does not feature in Morbius, and there is no reference to Oscorp or Norman Osborn in the film.
As the trailer continues, the Spider-Man ‘murderer’ poster features once again, and there is another clip of Adrian Toomes. This clip is brief, but it is slightly different to the one that appeared in trailer one, offering up a little more from this scene.
The final scene worth noting in trailer two appears at the very end of the trailer, when Morbius is tackling a knife-wielding thug. The thug asks Morbius who he is, to which Morbius jokingly calls himself Venom, before revealing he is actually called Dr. Michael Morbius.
Now, this scene is in the final movie, but it is a different cut from what is shown in this trailer. In the finished film, Morbius merely refers to himself as Venom, and never gives his real name.
Why was this scene altered? Possibly because other scenes were switched around, and by this point in the finished film, the goon had no idea who Dr. Michael Morbius was.
Onto the third and final trailer now, which was released on the 28th February 2022 – about a month before the movie made its cinematic debut. This trailer ran for two-minutes and twelve seconds and largely included footage which stuck to events seen in the film.
However, once again this trailer featured Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes, only this time with a new bit of footage, which suggested both Toomes and Morbius originally had an interaction in prison. This is something which does not happen in the finished film, and again was presumably dropped when the Toomes cameos were shifted to the end credits.
The Kraven reference
Outside of the three trailers discussed above, when Morbius was being shot in Manchester back in 2019, a van featuring the name ‘Kraven’ appeared on set. This van was presumably an in-joke to the Marvel character, Kraven the Hunter, and was not an integral part of the story, but it too was cut from the film.
As you can see from what I’ve discussed above, Morbius went through a few changes between the start of the advertising campaign and the movie’s debut. While the alterations didn’t necessarily change the main thrust of the story, their absence is worth noting.
Sony Pictures promoted Morbius with a number of Spider-Man/MCU references. However, the finished film did not include all of these references, and that’s a shame – especially for those fans keen to see all these Spidey connections.
Thank you for stopping by Don’t Tell Harry to read this post about Morbius. For more Marvel-related posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.