After many postponements, “Moribus” with Jared Leto is currently in German cinemas. Originally, however, the Marvel vampire was supposed to appear on the screen much earlier – in 1998’s “Blade” with Wesley Snipes.
It took around 50 years for Dr. Michael Morbius has also made it to the big screen since his first comic appearance in “The Amazing Spider-Man #101” with “Morbius” in 2022. Since the early 2000s, however, there has been talking of bringing the Marvel vampire to cinemas. The starting point was the collaboration between Marvel and Artisan Entertainment, who wanted to film adapt fifteen Marvel titles. However, this deal never bore fruit.
But even before that plan, Morbius would get his screen debut in 1998 at the end of Blade, starring Wesley Snipes. A corresponding scene was even filmed, but ultimately did not make it into the finished film, but later found its way onto the Internet (you can find the clip below). The removed Morbius moment from “Blade” plays out like this:
After Blade defeats Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), the vampire hunter meets up with Karen (N’Bushe Wright) on a rooftop. Karen, having cured herself of the vampire infection, also offers half-vampire Blade to cure him. He refuses and instead suggests that she develop an even stronger serum against his blood thirst, as he still needs his extraordinary abilities to hunt vampires. The final version of the film then moves to Moscow, where Blade shreds some Russian vampires.
Originally, however, the conversation on the roof between Blade and Karen was intended to be a little longer. After Blade explains that he still needs his powers for his job, Karen dryly replies “You’re On The Clock” and Blade points out a dark figure on a nearby building watching the two talk. This is none other than Morbius! Although this is difficult to tell from the figure itself, screenwriter David S. Goyer later confirmed this in a DVD commentary.
You can watch the scene (in pretty horrific quality) here:
A first MCU with Blade and Morbius
Had the scene been left in the film, Blade would have anticipated the obligatory sequel setup the MCU is now known for: teasing a character with future (and maybe even future) relevance could get their own movie). This could have resulted in a pre-release version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that would not be associated with Iron Man and Co., but would primarily be aimed at an adult audienceas did Blade, which was on the Index for many years but has since been given an FSK-18 rating.
David Goyer also answered why nothing came of the plans in the DVD bonus material. The appearance of Morbius would set the stage for a sequel in which Blade takes on the living vampires meets who was supposed to be the main antagonist in Blade II. That was the idea of Goyer and director Stephen Norrington (Fun fact: Norrington himself impersonated Morbius in the deleted “Blade” miniscene). However, when Norrington left the project and Guillermo Del Toro took over, that approach was jettisoned as Del Toro wanted to do his own thing. With success, because “Blade II” is considered by many fans to be the highlight of the trilogy.
“Morbius” in the podcast
If you’re still wondering whether you should watch “Moribus” in the cinema, the appropriate screen love edition of the DashFUN podcast will give you a clear answer. Sebastian, Markus and Tobias hardly leave a good hair on the Marvel blockbuster.