With the news that Spider-Man 4 could feature Morbius, The Living Vampire, we think we've figured out the plot for the next movie, and it's gotten us excited at the goofy possibilities. Spoilers ahead.
MTV's Splash Page blog caught Sam Raimi's comments in a recent interview about one of his favorite Spider-villains as a sign of a potential character for the upcoming fourth (and fifth, as the two movies will apparently shoot back-to-back) installment in the franchise:
I like it in the Marvel comics when Spider-Man fights Morbius... He’s really cool. A vampire! I like that combination of superhero plus supernatural.
For those unfamiliar with Morbius, there are the two things you need to know about him:
1. Morbius is a classic Marvel character because he has the classic Marvel origin
This is how all good Marvel characters with the exception of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America got started: Science betrayed him and he became a monster. Dr. Michael Morbius - yes, that's actually his name, which helps with that whole "vampire" thing - was messing about with bat genetics when things went wrong and he ended up with a taste for blood and a tight-fitting costume. Basically, he's the Hulk if the Hulk was a vampire, which makes him absolutely awesome, despite the fact that he looks like this:
2. Morbius first appeared in a classic Spider-Man story that also included Spidey having six arms.
That last one is the important one. You see, since the announcement of Raimi's return to Spider-Man, the rumor has been floating around that we'll be seeing classic Spidey bad-guy the Lizard in the next movie. And the comic book storyline that introduced Morbius did, in fact, feature the Lizard... and Peter Parker having four more arms than usual. Let's go to the Wikipedia summary of said storyline, and you tell me if this doesn't sound like it could easily be the plot of the next movie:
Peter Parker has had enough of being Spider-Man. Peter feels miserable about all the anguish he's had to endure. [Various spoilers about 1960s Spidey comics removed. Short version: He's had a shitty time of things, and is getting the blame for a lot of things.] Peter has a fatal thought: for Peter Parker to live, Spider-Man must die!
So, Spidey brews up a chemical cocktail intended to terminate his spider powers. Peter takes the cocktail and falls into a troubled sleep in which he fights all his enemies, while enduring excruciating side pains. When he wakes up, he notices a ghastly thing: he has six arms! The potion increased his spider powers rather than nullifying them!
He then visits his only possible confidant, Dr. Curt Connors (alias the Lizard) and fights a vampiric villain called Morbius, the Living Vampire. Although the stress of confronting Morbius makes Connors transform into the Lizard, using an enzyme Morbius "infected" the Lizard with when he bit him – causing the Lizard to retain Connors' mind after the transformation – both brew an antidote that turns both Connors and Spidey back to normal.
The six-armed Spider-Man story is ideal fodder for Raimi's fourth Spider-Man; it allows him to both be respectful to the character and his roots - it is a fondly-remembered storyline, written by Spidey creator Stan Lee, after all - while also indulging his more puckish side, considering its admittedly ridiculous premise. It has everything that made the first two movies great (Self-loathing, wacky science, fighting) and none of what made the third one not so great (Aliens from outer space, dance numbers), fitting into the (moderately) more realistic world of the first two movies, while keeping enough outre elements to offer thrills, laughs and - if needs be - chills under Raimi's direction, and using the two villains that Raimi seems to be leaning towards using in the movie (We've even already met Curt Conners in the second and third movies in the series, and Raimi has previously said that the Lizard is one of his favorite Spider-Man characters). The only question now is, is the world ready for the sight of Tobey Maguire with thirty-fingers?
(Oh, and in case you're wondering why Spider-Man "only" had six arms when a spider has eight legs: His two legs made up the difference, giving him eight limbs overall. If you're now wondering why that didn't mean he ended up with four legs and four arms, please remember: I don't make up this stuff. Go and tell Stan Lee that his science needs a little work.)