If there’s one thing we can probably take away from the entire, for lack of a better word, “culture,” surrounding Sony Pictures’ long-delayed, slumpishly released superhero movie Morbius, it’s that some aspects of online life should stay strictly online. Sony learned that itself when it floated a trial balloon to see if 8 million “Morbin Time” memes might translate to a couple of bucks at the box office by briefly returning the film to theaters (it really, really didn’t), and now some poor internet denizens has been served a very personal version of that same lesson today, courtesy of Morbius star Matt Smith at Comic-Con.
Smith was doing his duties as a panelist on HBO’s House Of The Dragon panel today, fielding questions from fans, when someone chose to open with an enthusiastic, “Matt Smith, it’s Morbin’ time!” To which Smith responded with a hearty, “It’s what?”
Things did not then get better, as the fan was then forced to essentially remind Smith that he “starred in a movie recently called, uh, Morbius, which was great.”(To be fair to Smith, he filmed Morbius way back in February 2019.) Said fan then attempted to tie their meme joke back into the actual topic of the panel, asking, “My question for you is how would you character in Morbius fit into the Game Of Thrones universe?”
And, you know what? Smith tried, bless his heart. “Well, I mean he’s a vampire, so I think he’d struggle first off.” (Sadly, no speculation about how said struggle would depend on when said vampire arrived vis a vis Westeros’ infamously long seasons.) But there’s only so much a man can do, even a man trying to be as nice as possible to Morbius for reasons of both etiquette and professionalism: “I don’t know really know how he’d fit into the Game Of Thrones universe. I think he would be a fish of water, in truth. I don’t think he’s got the chops to do it.” Ultimately: “But I’m glad you watched a completely different movie.”
And, hey: It’s not like Smith isn’t a veteran of nerd culture at this point; he accepted a question about his tenure on Doctor Who with good grace, explaining that he’s been taking parts in recent years to widen the breadth of his post-Who career. But Morbius clearly does not get that same consideration—unlike with co-star Jared Leto, who at least briefly embraced the memes after some monster broke quarantine and let him know that they exist. Please spare Matt Smith your Morbin’ jokes, people; maybe spare the rest of us, too, while you’re at it.