Morbius has become 2022’s biggest meme movie

Jared Leto in MorbiusSony Pictures

In 2006, it was Chico time. In 2007, it was summertime. In 2022, after the release of Morbius, it’ll always be Morbin’ time.

Martin Scorsese once said that Marvel movies don’t represent “the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

Rejoice, my fellow Morbs, for the afore-named Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters has yielded an icon to prove him wrong. In an overflowing superheroic crop, full of Gods, monsters, and sorcerers, the humble Dr. Michael Morbius is here at our service.

It’s believed Scorsese was swayed by Morbius’ breathtaking mid-credits scene, in which Jared Leto’s Living Vampire comes face to face with Michael Keaton’s Vulture, proposing a sinister team-up. “Intriguing,” he responds. In that moment, Scorsese is said to have wept in euphoria.

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Morbius posterSony Pictures
Morbius has gone from one of the year’s biggest flops to a hilarious meme.

Morbius: from Marvel flop to meme

Leto debuted as Morbius in April this year. On first watch, it was the most forgettable comic book movie I’d ever seen: vapid performances, even with Matt Smith’s inexplicably named Milo going pantomimic; choppy, indiscernible visuals with early-2000s effects; and a story that doesn’t make one lick of sense.

It was a movie destined for purgatory in the deep, dark corners of moviegoers’ memories, only to be recalled with a puff of the cheeks and someone saying, “God, that was really bad, wasn’t it?”

Fate had a different plan for Morbius. Forget Chet Hanks’ White Boy Summer – we’re soaking up every last ray of the Summer of Morbius. The Morbius Sweep isn’t just upon us, it’s happening right now. “There is no shame in what we are. We are the few… against the many.”

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Fast and Furious star Tyrese Gibson, who also has a role in the movie (you’re a liar if you say you remember his name), foreshadowed the movie’s meme legend when he fell for a rather unbelievable post.

An earlier tweet featured a quote with glowing praise from Scorsese, reading: “I was aghast to find out it was based on a comic book. This is the truest height of cinema and even I cannot top it. A wise man admits when he is wrong and I was wrong, I apologise to all comic book movies.”

Not only did Gibson believe this to be true, but he shared it on his Instagram, writing: “Wow wow wow I can’t believe what just happened whoa Cheers and hats off to you [director Daniel Espinosa] this is so amazing King! This is the KING of KINGS of cinema Martin Scorsese this is huge.”

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#MorbiusSweep has been trending every day since

Nearly two months later, it’s still dominating social media. We’re not talking low numbers on Twitter’s trending chart – it’s tens of thousands of tweets every single day, whether it’s screenshots, clips or some of the funniest memes to ever emerge from a mainstream movie release.

One fake news article claimed Morbius to be the top baby name of the year so far. KFC shared a photo with Colonel Sanders’ face superimposed onto the Morbius poster. Several people have designed mock-up Morbius video game covers for the Nintendo Wii and DS.

One user warned: “Be careful out there everyone. I had two Morbius tickets in my car and someone broke in and left four more,” while another posted a photo of Morbius on their 3DS and wrote: “Don’t come in mom I’m Morbin off.”

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In another post, someone revealed their co-worker had to strenuously deny their Bram Stoker’s Dracula tattoo wasn’t actually of Morbius. While their channel was shut down, a Twitch user streamed Morbius 24/7 for several days, attracting thousands of viewers.

The quote “It’s Morbin’ time” isn’t even in the movie – or is it? “Schrodinger’s Morbius: the line simultaneously exists and does not in the movie because no one has seen the film to be sure,” one user joked.

Another envisioned the end of Avengers: Endgame with Morbius telling Thanos as he snaps his Infinity Gauntlet: “It’s Morbin’ time.”

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Maybe it’s just lightning in a bottle, or perhaps it’s a just punishment for a studio that had the gall to release something so hilariously shoddy and soulless. Let it be remembered as the parable of Morbius, the vampire living in immortal mockery.