The following post contains SPOILERS for the ending of Morbius

Nothing — not even the consistently disastrous movie that precedes it — can prepare you for the absolute awfulness of Morbius’ post-credits scenes. Before I saw the film, I had read descriptions of the sequence, including one shared by the director of the movie, Daniel Espinosa, on Twitter. It sounded bad, but I thought maybe something got lost in the translation between the screen and social media. But no; if anything, the scene makes even less sense in context than it does when you read about it.

After waiting the entire movie for Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes — AKA the Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming — to show up and do something (anything!) to enliven this incredibly boring hybrid of a vampire movie and a superhero adventure, he finally appears for the first time after the credits begin to roll. (That’s right, if you race out of the theater as soon as the film ends, which is an entirely justified response under these circumstances, you’ll miss him completely.)

With zero prompting and with zero connection to the rest of Morbius, Keaton’s Toomes suddenly materializes in an empty prison cell. Then a news broadcast explains that his mysterious appearance is tied to bright purple fissures in the sky like the ones seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home, where a botched spell by Doctor Strange began drawing anyone who knew Peter Parker’s secret identity into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

19. Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming
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Because Toomes hasn’t committed any crimes in his new universe, he’s released from jail. In the second post-credits scene, Jared Leto’s Michael Morbius is driving in a fancy sports car in the desert. He stops and gets out and then Toomes, now in full Vulture gear, zooms up to him. He blames the fact that he got zapped from his home into this new place on Spider-Man and suggests that he and Morbius team up together, seemingly laying the groundwork for the Sinister Six movie that Sony has been threatening to make since way back in 2014, when the group was heavily teased in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

All of the needless Sinister Six stuff in Amazing Spider-Man 2 really hurt that movie, but its impact here might be even worse; at least in Amazing Spider-Man 2 there was a certain amount of logic around why someone would want to create these villains and have them work together. In Morbius’ case, these characters have absolutely no reason to interact, there’s no indication how they know each other, and their conversation doesn’t make any sense. Vulture wants Morbius to work with him because of Spider-Man, but Morbius has never met Spider-Man.

In fact, while there were glimpses of Spider-Man in Morbius’ trailers — like street art with the words “Murderer” spray painted over it — there are none in the final film. He might as well not even exist in this universe. So when Vulture blames Spider-Man, Morbius’ response should probably be “Who the hell is Spider-Man?”

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You can sort of No-Prize your way into an explanation for this; Spider-Man does exist in Morbius’ universe, we just never see or hear any evidence of it in the movie. But that’s far from the only thing about these post-credits scenes that’s confusing. Their whole premise of Vulture jumping from the MCU to Sony’s Spider-Man movies violates the rules established in Spider-Man: No Way Home. There, we were told repeatedly that Doctor Strange’s spell is bringing people who know Peter Parker’s secret identity to the MCU. So why would it now do the opposite and send Vulture out of the MCU?

Plus, how would Vulture even know Spider-Man was to blame if it was that spell that sent him into Sony’s Spider-Verse? Morbius’ post-credits scenes would have had to have happened simultaneously with the events of No Way Home. It’s not like Spider-Man went on CNN and announced he’d screwed up the multiverse. Yet Toomes immediately jumps to the conclusion of “This is Spider-Man’s fault!” We know that it is, but how would Toomes know that?

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You only need to look at the Morbius trailers, which show Michael Keaton’s character interacting with Leto’s Morbius in totally different scenes, exchanging dialogue he never says in the finished film, to know that this was not Sony’s original plan. I have no knowledge about the inner workings of Sony Pictures or the production of Morbius. But here is my suspicion about what happened.

Morbius was originally scheduled to open in theaters in July of 2020. When Covid hit, it got bumped to the spring of 2021 and then, even after the situation in theaters improved, Sony moved it several more times, until it finally got its ominous April 1 release date. (“You thought you were going to see a good movie? April Fools!”) So when Morbius was first planned, it would have opened before Spider-Man: No Way Home and, more importantly in this context, before Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

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Let There Be Carnage’s post-credits scene showed Tom Hardy’s Venom jumping from his own universe into the MCU, where Tom Holland’s Peter Parker catches his eye on television. In No Way Home’s post-credits scene, Venom gets sent back to his own dimension. These two sequences made it clear that Venom exists on a separate Earth from Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That was a problem for Morbius, because the film’s trailers strongly suggest it was conceived as taking place on the same world as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Tom Hardy’s Venom. The trailers feature appearances by Keaton’s Adrian Toomes (a character from the MCU) and overt references to Hardy’s Venom (a character who exists in a place we might as well call the “Venomverse”). No Way Home and Let There Be Carnage established that was not physically possible. Morbius could be in the MCU or in the Venomverse, but not both.

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Theoretically, Sony could have (and maybe should have) just cut Michael Keaton from Morbius. After all, his role serves no function in the film. Morbius doesn’t “need” him to do anything to further the story. But Sony featured Keaton prominently in every trailer for the movie, so cutting him out completely would mean not giving audiences what they promised in their marketing. And so it seems instead they pivoted to this bizarre post-credits scene that attempts to explain how Keaton could jump from the MCU to Sony for a Sinister Six movie.

But this version of the Vulture doesn’t square at all with the one from Homecoming, who was a devoted family man who was committing crimes primarily to make ends meet for his wife and daughter. If he wound up in a new universe, wouldn’t he be devastated by the loss of his loved ones, rather than excited by the chance to fight Spider-Man? And where did Toomes get his Vulture costume in this universe? His original Vulture suit was made out of alien technology left over from the invasion of New York City in The Avengers — an event that never even took place on the world where Morbius lives.

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This is why Morbius’ post-credits scenes mark a historic low point for the genre . While some of Marvel’s teases are better than others, they at least suggest they are part of a meticulous and elaborate plan. With just one exception that I can think of, they’ve never had a post-credits scene that didn’t feel like it fit logically into the rest of the MCU. Morbius’ post-credits scenes feel like they were thrown together in the last two weeks after they realized their original plot no longer worked.

It’s totally understandably that Sony would want to capitalize on the success of the biggest film in its history by connecting it with Morbius. But post-credits scenes are not only designed to set up future movies on a story level, they’re meant to make audiences want to see what happens next. I can’t imagine that happening with Morbius under any circumstance.

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