While Disney closes the Fox deal, Sony prepares to launch Morbius and continue with it’s Sony Universe of Marvel Characters. There’s a lot to unpack in it. It’s animated universe has been a stellar stand-out, and Venom was a surprise hit. The story of Miles Morales and his interactions within the Spider-Verse are considerably more traditional superhero film fare and while Venom carried his own movie, it’s hard to tell if the symbiote could carry his own franchise.
Sony’s next Marvel property is Morbius. The film stars Jared Leto as the titular scientist-turned-vampire who tried (briefly) to be an anti-hero in multiple mini-series. The character is a spider-man villain by trade however. If Sony follows through with it’s own Cinematic Universe concept, they’re essentially building their own Suicide Squad. Venom, Morbius, Black Cat, Silver Sable, and Jackpot – all names thrown around who could carry franchises, are reluctant heroes. Despite the similarities between the franchises however, Sony could make something different, unique, and cool. Let’s break down just what that could look like.
WHATEVER THEY DO, IT’S GOT TO BE BIG AND DIFFERENT
Sony seems to be laying the groundwork for a bigger story for it’s characters. The end of Venom seemed to hint that more symbiotes might be arriving on earth. An alien invasion of symbiotes might be a good way to tie the worlds they want to build together.
Still, alien invasions have been done well by the MCU. In order for the invasion of the symbiotes to work, it has to be larger then they’re going to attack Venom, Morbius, and the rest of them. In order for Sony to make a real mark they have to do something different. The stakes have to be huge and different, otherwise people are going to insist on bringing the characters back to the MCU to maintain some semblance of comic continuity.
Whatever Sony does it has to be big and different. They can’t copy anything that the MCU has done. Thankfully there’s a big option that we’ve listed below.
ONE OF THE CHARACTERS HAS TO CHOSE TO BE A VILLAIN
Morbius and Venom, despite their “tortured” backstories, are villains. They actively enjoyed the murder that they caused. As their backstories have grown and people have sought to explore their characters which has led to them evolving into anti-heroes, the peak of that is (seemingly) Sony’s films. Eddie Brock’s relationship with Venom didn’t begin with Peter Parker ‘ruining’ Eddie Brock’s life. While we don’t know about Morbius, the character won’t have Peter Parker or Blade to contend with – as far as we know.
The other characters that Sony has decided to develop franchises before are also ‘villains’. Even Jackpot, a hero with mutant strength and speed, is a reluctant hero who doesn’t particularly want to be one. In order for Sony’s world to work, one of them needs to embrace their villainy. Rather then have them be the team’s “hulk”, they need to make the decision to actively pursue their villainy. They have to give into the darkness within.
With Venom 2 teasing Venom vs Carnage, Venom is out. He’ll be making even more conscious decisions to be heroic in the wake of the horror Carnage perpetrates. Silver Sable and Black Cat are also out. Our bet for the team “traitor” who has to turn to the darkside in order to make a compelling story is Morbius, and it makes sense. The scientist could easily give into his vampire nature and become a dark king. That would provide a villain that’s close to home. Morbius should turn to the dark side and be a minor boss before heading into the big endgame, a symbiote invasion.
How to tie it all in together however? How to make the stakes so big that people have to pay attention? The answer is simple. Miles Morales.
MILES, GWEN, MORE MILES, MORE GWEN
The biggest thing that Sony should use for it’s universe however is Miles. Miles should be the crossover character, the centered person who becomes a part of the story. Since the MCU teased Miles’s presence, they could use Miles to tie the MCU to Sony’s story and add to the “spider-verse” mythos that seems to be forming a sort of backbone to a bigger story.
And why not? Miles is an engaging character and after 20 years of Peter Parker stories, giving Tom Holland’s Peter Parker a contemporary ally would be a major change and offer plenty of storytelling opportunities. Miles has storytelling that would be rooted in a new part of the Spider-Man mythos. Miles has his own heroes, villains, and rogues gallery. He also interacts with Peters, and it’s those interactions that deserve a spotlight.
The way to get Miles into the broader connected Univerese? Gwen Stacy. Gwen has already shown she’s adept at travelling through the Marvel Universe. Gwen could make the leap from animated to real world storytelling. Gwen could be the person who could facilitate Miles meeting people like Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, and then dragging him into meeting Miles’s Venom, a far more terrifying character.
Rather then focus on Peter Parker, firmly in the MCU, Sony should rely on Miles to tell stories.
Disney and Fox are working to grow the MCU, but rather then compete against each other they should cooperate with Sony. It’s possible to still have interactions like those in the comics. It just requires some creative thinking. As long as Sony sees the properties that make real impact and money like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Venom, the way they wrote it, Sony could be a part of building something great that would entertain audiences worldwide and give fans what they’ve been asking for.
Do you agree with our thoughts on this? How would you like to see Sony handle it’s characters? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Sony’s Morbius hits theaters July 31, 2020