Thus, the newspaper version of the Bugle was unique to the Venom movie timeline—at least, it was before the new Morbius trailer. In this instance, the Bugle, bearing the headline, “Dr. Michael Morbius Apprehended for ‘Vampire Murder,’” is a device used to convey an idea that was already hinted in the previous trailer, specifically that the disease-cured, but newly-vampiric Morbius will find himself in an involuntary custodial situation with the authorities over his (literally) bloodthirsty exploits. However, the paper Bugle clearly confirms that Morbius takes place in the same timeline as Venom; a notion made even clearer when Agent Rodriguez (Al Madrigal) says, presumably at the scene of a Morbius-related incident, “We haven’t had anything this good since that thing in San Francisco,” which is an obvious setting nod to the events of Venom.
However, the film’s most vexing of Venom links was saved for last. As Morbius is using his enhanced strength to interrogate a man who’s apparently forging bills, he is posed with an iconic question familiar to the comic book movie genre of “Who are you?” Yet, rather than providing the traditional answer of “I’m Batman,” Morbius (as played by former onscreen Joker Leto) instead answers “I’m Venom.” Indeed, with the film’s shared-universe status with Venom now established, the idea of him answering in that way might just be a tongue-in-cheek moment that’s flying too close to the proverbial meta sun.
Morbius’s Amazing Spider-Man Connection.
This element is nowhere near as meaty as the Venom references, but it’s still rather clear. As the trailer transitions between its showcased scenes, we catch a glimpse of a fictional New York City skyline that potently includes one particular skyscraper, Oscorp Tower, specifically brandishing a logo that’s straight out of Sony’s Andrew Garfield-starring duo of The Amazing Spider-Man films. Thusly, the film could be indicating the continuity’s presence of the Osborn family, the patriarch of which, Norman Osborn, happens to be Spidey’s archnemesis, the Green Goblin.
However, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, all we really know for certain is that this Oscorp is a version of the building and eponymous conglomerate. Therefore, its presence doesn’t necessarily confirm that Morbius—and, by proxy, Venom—takes place in The Amazing Spider-Man timeline, although that might be left open to interpretation. What we do know is that Sony has long chased a spinoff megamovie centered on Spider-Man rogues gallery The Sinister Six, for which that version of Oscorp—as teased at the end of 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2—was set to be the tech-supplying home base. While those teased plans never came to fruition, Sony still has its eye on that particular megamovie ball, which makes the Oscorp Easter egg even more intriguing.
The Morbius connections we already knew.
Of course, the touted 2020 teaser trailer for Morbius provided what was, at the time, one of the biggest eye-opening timeline-establishing moments yet, with a surprise appearance of Michael Keaton, who is reprising his antagonist role from 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture. While this remains a strong element that links Morbius to the MCU-adherent Homecoming Trilogy, the nature of that connectivity has been somewhat muddled by what the new trailer is touting. Yet, we do get a bit of new footage of Keaton’s Toomes, who, akin to the previous clip, remains a convict in the aftermath of his Homecoming misdeeds, saying to a passing Morbius, “Hey, Dr. Mike, you and I should stay in touch.” The line, brief as it was, further hints Sony’s long-kept, ever-evolving Sinister Six designs.
Additionally, the trailer repeats another profound Easter egg moment from the 2020 teaser, in which Leto’s Morbius walks in a back alley—covering up his orange prison garb with a blanket—when he happens to pass by a poster of Spider-Man that’s covered with the graffito of “murderer,” which seemingly references the crucial mid-credits events of 2019’s Spider-Man: Far from Home, in which Peter Parker’s existence as Spider-Man is doxed, leaving him framed for the murder of Mysterio, who has posthumously concocted the life-hacking hoax through “TheDailyBugle.net” publisher J. Jonah Jameson. However, the Spider-Man costume in the poster image appears to be that of Tobey Maguire’s from director Sam Raimi’s 2002-2007 Spider-Man Trilogy, which profoundly confuses what was a seemingly simple visual Easter egg.
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