‘Morbius’ Director Addresses Poor Reviews, Explains Missing Spider-Man Mural Scene

After a couple of years of delays due to COVID, Morbius has finally hit theaters, becoming the third chapter in Sony’s Spider-Man cinematic universe. Well, let’s just say the debut was not a smooth one. The film only earned $84M worldwide and has a 17% Rotten Tomatoes score from critics. While the Audience score is better at 70%, the C+ Cinemascore suggests there were definitely problems that could’ve been worked out beforehand.

Director Daniel Espinosa has something to say about all of the criticism. Speaking with Insider, he was asked about the low Rotten Tomatoes score for Morbius, and whether that’s something he puts a lot of stock into…

“When I did my first feature it was a small movie called ‘Babylon Disease,'” Espinosa began. “I remember one day going home on the subway and I had a few drinks so I was a bit drunk. Someone nudged me on the train and said, ‘I have to tell you what’s wrong with the second scene in your feature’ and I was like, ‘Well, okay.’ The point I’m making is it’s a strange thing to make something so public.”

“Look, I have a lot of self-hatred so I have a lot of criticism of my own work. I’m always trying to focus on being better. But I am also proud of what I do. There are parts in all of my movies that I’m really proud of.”

He seems to be admitting that Morbius could have been better, but that he’s still proud of the work they did on it. Truth is, this movie underwent a lot of changes. There are scenes in the trailers that don’t end up in the final cut, and you can tell the post-credits stuff was reworked because the delays put it in such close proximity to Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Speaking of which, one glaring omission is the Spider-Man mural that is a prominent part the Morbius trailer. It’s nowhere to be found in the final version, and Cinemablend asked Espionsa about that. Turns out he had nothing to do with it…

“That image is only in the trailer,” Espinosa explained. “So for me, as a director, I only do the movie. I, as a fan, have several kinds of opinions and thoughts about that. But since I didn’t put it there because it’s not in the movie, and I didn’t put it in the trailer either. If I said something about what I think it is, it would be as a fan. But because I’m the director, I would be accused of knowing something. Which I don’t, you know? If I knew something, I could tell you. [But] it’s not mine. It’s not from my idea, you know? I would love to be honest and responsible, but I can’t, because it’s not mine.”

In other words, Sony’s marketing team put that in there in hopes of attracting some of Marvel’s Spider-Man audience. The thing is, the Spider-Man seen in the mural was clearly the Tobey Maguire one, not Tom Holland or even Andrew Garfield. But since it isn’t in the movie, I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Will there be a Morbius 2? I have my doubts, but it’s something we discuss on the latest episode of Cinema Royale and you should check it out.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.