Sony won’t be able to deliver on Morbius star Jared Leto’s Legion of Monsters tease without some help from Marvel Studios, due to rights issues. This week, Jared Leto posted a picture on Instagram of him reading an issue of Marvel’s Legion of Monsters comic book series, starting online chatter about a potential appearance of the team at some point down the line.
The Legion of Monsters were created in 1976 and appeared for the first time in Marvel Premiere #28. In the vein of the Avengers, the Legion of Monsters was born out of a combination of a handful of popular, established Marvel heroes, including a few who had proven capable of headlining their own comic. The first lineup of the Legions of Monsters consisted of Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night, and Morbius the Living Vampire. The team didn’t last long, but the particular blend of characters used for this supernatural team has made this a concept that Marvel has been willing to revisit from time to time.
Now, some are interpreting Jared Leto’s picture as a Legions of Monsters tease, but is this something that Sony can ever deliver? It could happen, but not in a Morbius movie, or in an untitled Spider-Man spinoff movie — unless they had Marvel’s cooperation. Due to the Sony-Marvel deal, Sony has full rights to Morbius and other characters related to Spider-Man, but Legion of Monsters (and the characters associated with the team name) belong to Marvel. Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night, and later additions to the team, such as Satana and N’Kantu the Living Mummy, aren’t Spider-Man characters.
Sony can’t touch them, but Marvel could make this work. However, it’s hard to imagine Marvel making this concession for a Sony movie, especially since it won’t be under the direct control of Marvel Studios. It’s more likely that Marvel would prefer to have a tight leash on Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing, Ghost Rider, and all the rest. Ghost Rider is a highly popular character that Marvel could very well have plans for, and there are rumors about Werewolf by Night appearing in Marvel’s Moon Knight TV series. The same could apply to all other members.
If Marvel is interested in building the Legion of Monsters (with Morbius), it’s possible that they’d be more inclined to see this through in one of their own movies, and have Morbius appear as a crossover character. It should be noted that Marvel may already be working toward a supernatural superhero team, based on the characters that’ll be relevant to the MCU over the next few years. The leading theory is that Marvel has its eye on the Midnight Sons, but since the two teams share quite a few of the same team members, it could end up being the Legion of Monsters instead.
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