Baffled by the post-credit scenes of Morbius? Well, it could be stranger – here’s why 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 previewed a Fox X-Men movie.

Without getting into spoilers, we’ve seen much consternation about two scenes that play during the credits of the new Sony/Marvel outing Morbius since the film was released last week. Many have called it the worst and/or the weirdest of these comic-book codas since Marvel Studios popularised the practice, but truthfully, it’s not even the worst or weirdest on a Spider-Man film.

Back in 2014, Sony’s first attempt to build an MCU-style franchise out of its Marvel character rights was piloted in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Following 2012’s reboot, the film revisits Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker but also burns a lot of time setting up future films and characters for both sequels and spin-offs.

Due to a variety of factors, that didn’t go as planned, but when the credits start, none of the planned Sony movies get a final tease. Instead, the credits are interrupted by a scene from the then-upcoming 20th Century Fox movie, X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

The scene sees Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique infiltrate a US Army camp in Vietnam, disguised as a general. She does a bit of fighting, liberates the mutant conscripts who are interned there, and reverts to her Lawrence look. After a title card, the Amazing Spider-Man 2 credits resume.

Pre-Disney merger and parallel to Sony’s universal noodlings, Fox was looking at ways of crossing over its own Marvel properties. Days Of Future Past was itself a way of uniting two generations of the X-Men franchise and the film press would occasionally throw up rumours of other crossovers, including the Fox-controlled Fantastic Four.

So you can see how this unrelated Spider-Man promo, billed as an “Easter egg” by some promo materials, might have confused viewers. For one thing, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set in the present day, while Days Of Future Past’s Vietnam scene is just one part of a story set entirely in the 1970s. For another, a collaboration between studios was exactly the sort of thing that we were told wasn’t feasible at this point in comic book franchise history.

Here’s the 60-second clip in question…

Untangling Webb


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This promo for another studio’s totally unrelated comic-book film has never been repeated, but the reason behind it dates back to (500) Days Of Summer.

Also directed by Webb, the romantic comedy was a decent-sized hit for Fox in summer 2009, and the director duly signed up to make another film for the studio in the future. But while that was bubbling away, along came The Amazing Spider-Man, and nominative determinism jumped the queue. (To paraphrase J. Jonah Jameson – “A guy named Marc Webb winds up directing Spider-Man movies… what are the odds?”)

When that film hit big for Sony in summer 2012, they greenlit a sequel in pretty short order, and Webb was expected to return. However, that was when Fox executives decided to call in his obligation to make a new film for them instead. Sony was set on a 2014 release date for the second instalment of their rebooted franchise and so producers reached out to Fox to strike a deal so that Webb could make The Amazing Spider-Man 2 first.

As Variety reported, the secret agreement they struck was that Sony would include a promo for Fox’s own big Marvel movie that summer, free of charge – not at the beginning of the film, where trailers are supposed to go, but in the end credits, during which Marvel fans expect to get a teaser of what’s to come.

Odder still, the scene that Fox provided doesn’t really tell you much about the movie. Maybe it has to be a fairly irrelevant scene from near the beginning of the movie so that nobody thinks the X-Men movie is going to crossover with Spider-Man, but it doesn’t really give you much of an idea of what Days Of Future Past is about and why you should be excited to see it either.

The promo notably didn’t feature on the cut of the film shown at the world premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which took place in London on 10th April 2014, but was added days later for the general release. It opened first in the UK and various other international markets from 16th April, before making its US debut on 2nd May. The X-Men scene still features on the end of the film when it’s broadcast on ITV2 here in the UK, and on some streaming platforms.

As it happened, X-Men: Days Of Future Past wound up being a much bigger hit at the global box office, while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 “underperformed”. Thus, its many dangling threads were left hanging when Sony went to the negotiating table with Marvel Studios and partnered on the second reboot in five years, which spread across Disney’s Captain America: Civil War and Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.

After directing TV pilots for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Limitless, Webb did go on to make his next film at Fox, underrated family drama Gifted for its Searchlight division in 2017. Starring Chris Evans as a de facto guardian and Mckenna Grace as his maths-prodigy niece, it played on fewer screens on its original release than either of the summer 2014 comic-book flicks, but it’s well worth catching up if you missed it.

Say what you like about the Morbius teasers, (and we’re avoiding both spoilers and, as much as possible, snark) but at least those are setting up a film Sony (at the time of writing) apparently intends to make. There was never any X-Men/Spider-Man crossover on the cards, but whether you wanted that or not, this amounted to a studio giving free advertising space during the credits of its movie.

Meanwhile, until Marvel gets around to bringing mutants into their cinematic universe, the closest you’ll get to seeing Spider-Man meet the X-Men is the on-set prank in this outtake from the 2000 movie…



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