Matt Smith Responds To Morbius Flopping & Brutal Critical Response

Morbius star Matt Smith opens up about the film bombing at the box office and earning negative reviews. Morbius, which was released this April, was an attempt by Sony to expand their Spider-Man universe by exploring the wall-crawler's expansive rogues gallery. Dr. Michael Morbius, played in the film by Jared Leto, was a 1970's-era Spider-Man villain known as 'the living vampire,' and served as a way of bringing Marvel's flagship hero into more macabre and supernatural zones. The film sought to continue Venom's legacy by ensuring a franchise of Sony projects headlined by Spider-Man villains, and would lead to upcoming projects such as 2023's Kraven the Hunter and Madame Web.


The journey to the screen for Morbius, however, was rife with delays, thanks mainly in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film's release date was changed several times before Sony settled on an April 2022 premiere, hoping the comic book adaptation would find a large audience. Upon its debut, Morbius bombed at the box office, earned terrible reviews from critics, and was widely mocked in viral memes (which led to Sony's ill-advised decision to re-release Morbius in June). The name Morbius seems to be the current synonym for cinematic failure, and several involved parties are well aware of it.

Related: No Way Home & Morbius Proved The Spider-Man MCU Deal's Flaw

Now, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Smith, who played the villainous Milo in Morbius, broke his silence on the film in order to speak bluntly about its reception and failure. Smith, who is currently in the midst of a press tour for House of the Dragon, took a passive, reflective approach to Morbius, and made a mention of Sony's treatment of the film in contrast to other, more lucrative properties such as No Way Home. Read the full excerpt below:

“Yeah, it was thrown under the bus. But you just have to roll with it. What else are you gonna do? It’s a film, at the end of the day, we’re not saving lives. For whatever reason, it didn’t quite work out and… It is what it is.”

morbius milo matt smith

Smith isn't the first Morbius actor to express regret over Sony's handling of the film, as supporting actor Al Madrigal recently lamented that the editing, which trimmed the film to a slim 104 minutes, was the main cause of the film's failure. Sony has a habit of cutting corners on franchise outings in order to ensure some measure of success, resulting in questionable final cuts of both Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the latter of which was also pushed several times due to COVID. While Sony has several Spider-Man spinoffs in development, including Venom 3 and El Muerto, an adaptation of an extremely obscure Spider-Man nemesis, fans still worry about the approach they'll take to releasing them.

Still, Smith speaking his piece on the release and response to Morbius could act as a plea to studios, especially Sony, to handle their franchise products better despite the earth-shattering demand for them. And while the internet following for Morbius has led to an online push for a sequel, it's not clear whether Sony will take this as an earnest request from fans or as an unintentional delivery of a punchline to a joke they clearly don't get. While Sony does have some more easy moneymakers in the works, as well as more Spider-Man films with Tom Holland, time will tell whether or not they use Morbius as a cautionary tale of how not to handle a franchise film's release.

Next: Morbius 2: How To Make A Sequel That Doesn't Actually Suck

Source: Rolling Stone

Key Release Dates
  • Kraven the Hunter (2023)Release date: Jan 13, 2023
  • Madame Web (2023)Release date: Jul 07, 2023
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About The Author Jordan Schmidt (16 Articles Published)

Jordan Schmidt is a news writer and staff writer for Screen Rant. Jordan has a degree in screenwriting and playwriting, and has been writing in some form for most of his life. Jordan spent his entire upbringing watching movies and ingratiating himself into geek culture, and his knowledge of the landscape makes him an asset for any writing staff. When not writing, Jordan can be found at a baseball stadium or watching some movie he's seen 12 times already.

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