As I write this on Tuesday April 5, 2022, Morbius is currently sitting at 16% on critical aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. That means with just over 200 reviews counted, 84% of critics who saw the film disliked it more than they liked it. (This critic included.) Which, to put it mildly, isn’t good. And it’s especially not good when it’s a mega Hollywood blockbuster set in the same universe as a character whose last film is approaching $2 billion globally.
And yet, Morbius is doing OK at the box office. It made almost $40 million on its opening weekend in North America and double that internationally. Odds are, it will end up turning a profit. But that doesn’t make the fact that an overwhelming majority of critics didn’t like your work any easier, and director Daniel Espinosa addressed that in a new interview.
“Look, I have a lot of self-hatred so I have a lot of criticism of my own work,” the director of Life and Safe House told Insider. “I’m always trying to focus on being better. But I am also proud of what I do. There are parts in all of my movies that I’m really proud of.” He didn’t explain what specific parts he was referring to, but he did tell a few stories of how being a filmmaker is not for someone with thin skin.
“When I did my first feature it was a small movie called Babylon Disease,” Espinosa said. “I remember one day going home on the subway and I had a few drinks so I was a bit drunk. Someone nudged me on the train and said, ‘I have to tell you what’s wrong with the second scene in your feature,’ and I was like, ‘Well, OK.’ The point I’m making is that it’s a strange thing to make something that is so public.”
Public—but also, not always only your vision. In another interview with Uproxx, when asked about how much of Morbius was actually his, Espinosa said the following: “I think that I work at my best if I get a lot of decision power. But, in these movies, they’re big movies that have a lot of people’s interest. It’s different processes every time.” And maybe that’s the key. Sure, its Espinosa’s name listed at the end of the movie as director, but it’s possible he feels the bad reviews aren’t only his fault. In fact, they might actually be validation that he should’ve been given more control.
Morbius is now in theater.
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