Once upon a time, there was a film studio called Sony. Sony had Some-Marvel, and only some of the Some-Marvel was stuff people wanted to see. People wanted to see Spider-Man. People wanted to see Venom (who was basically Spider-Man, if Spider-Man was an oil slick who ate people). That was pretty much it though, at least as far as Sony’s Some-Marvel was concerned. Still, Sony didn’t let what people wanted stop them. They started developing movies for every character who had ever fought Spider-Man, loved Spider-Man, talked to Spider-Man, owed money to Spider-Man, accidentally bumped into Spider-Man and apologized before realizing it was totally Spider-Man’s fault and then felt bad about apologizing, etc. And so, the worst Marvel movie — 2022’s Morbius — was born.
The thing about being the worst Marvel movie though? When you’re the absolute worst at something — like, when 1986’s Howard the Duck exists and you’re somehow worse than that — is that it’s kind of like a car crash on the side of the road; people need to see it. If for no other reason, they need to know if what they’re hearing about it could possibly be true. In the case of Morbius, people apparently really, really need to know how bad it is and they’re finding out at an alarming rate. The flick is currently the #1 movie on Amazon video-on-demand rental, as reported in the tweet below.
Exactly who is the star of the worst Marvel movie? Well, for the movie nobody asked for, Sony cast the actor no one wanted: Jared “when will WB admit he’s not Joker anymore” Leto. Leto plays Michael Morbius, a scientist suffering from a rare and debilitating condition which he treats by turning himself into a vampire. The villain of the piece is Milo — played by Matt Smith of Doctor Who fame — who suffers from the same condition as Morbius and ultimately gains the same abilities. The difference between the two? Basically, Morbius is much pickier about who he kills and drains of their blood. So you could say Morbius is a food critic who only eats at expensive, well-reviewed restaurants and Milo doesn’t care if he’s eating drive-thru or gourmet.
Along with Leto and Smith, the ranks of those tricked into starring in the worst Marvel movie include Adria Arjona (Pacific Rim: Uprising) as Morbius’ love interest Martine Bancroft, Jared Harris (Chernobyl) as Morbius’ mentor Dr. Emil Nicholas, Tyrese Gibson (Furious 7) as FBI Agent Al Madrigal, and Corey Johnson (Captain Phillips) as Mr. Fox. Michael Keaton also makes a cameo as his Spider-Man: Far from Home villain Adrian Toomes in a mid-credits scene that is pretty much universally considered to make about as much sense as everything else in Morbius.
Remember when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit North America and just about every 2020 movie was delayed? Well before that happened Morbius was scheduled to release in 2020, at the end of July. The news of its first pandemic-related delay, to March 2021, was met with a resounding, “yeah okay what movie?” The worst Marvel movie would be delayed four more times: to October 2021, to January 21 2022, to January 28, and finally April. Because of the invasion of Ukraine, Sony refused to release Morbius in Russia which, in retrospect, seems completely unfair to the rest of us. In spite of starring an actor no one likes as a superhero no one cares about, Morbius somehow flopped worse than a fish in a Faith No More video.
But that would not be the end of the worst Marvel movie. Apparently adhering to the adage that all press is good press, Sony rereleased their stinking pile of bloodsucking garbage and once more, no one wanted to see it. Why did failing at first make them want to try, try again? Well, while Morbius failed to be popular as a good movie, it did lead to the popular “It’s Morbin’ Time!” meme. Assuming that lots of memes would translate into lots of ticket sales, Sony briefly wasted theater space that could’ve been used for anything. Literally anything else. Maybe storage space. A flea market. A pop-up store to sell those floppy inflatable guys with the arms outside used car dealerships. Anything.
If you want to see for yourself whether or not Sony should’ve staked Morbius through the heart long before it hit theaters, it’s available for rent and purchase (!!!) on Amazon.