You can find lots of things being broadcast on Twitch. Video games, political commentary, podcasts and e-speeddating events, even erotic ASMR. And sometimes, just sometimes, when you’re on the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform, you’ll find a 24/7 loop of an entire film for your viewing pleasure, complete with closed captions. That’s what’s been happening with Marvel and Sony’s Jared Leto-led vampire flick Morbius, which has been streaming nonstop to thousands of viewers since yesterday.
Morbius—a collaboration between Columbia Pictures, Marvel, and Sony Pictures Releasing—is an action film following the titular character, award-winning human biologist Michael Morbius, who becomes a living vampire after searching for a cure to the unknown disease that’s killing him. The film, starring Jared Leto in the lead role and serving as the third entry in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, flopped when it hit theatres worldwide on April 1, where it earned the unfortunate distinction of having the biggest second-week drop in profits ever for a tentpole superhero movie. It also holds a paltry 35 Metacritic score and a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. Clearly, it wasn’t a success.
But maybe that lack of critical praise is part of why so many folks were tuning in. For some, Jared Leto’s wild method acting in such a big-budget flop could make for a delightful irony-watch. As shared by Twitter user Radstads, a Twitch account named Morbius247, streaming under the category of Valve’s digital collectible card game Artifact, had some 2000 viewers—including some Twitch staff, apparently—all morbing out together. It appears this broadcast was live for over a dozen hours—streaming the film again and again—before the channel was taken down. However, the living vampire isn’t so easily stopped, and Morbius has since popped up in the Artifact category again on the Amplifying and thedeadpool22 channels.
“I don’t even care if this is just being done by Sony to promo Morbius at this point, this is one of the most insane twitch streams I’ve experienced in my entire life,” Radstads said in a follow-up tweet.
In fact, currently the film is easily available on Twitch. Searching for Morbius on the platform pulls up at least two VODs, previously live broadcasts that have been saved for repeated viewings, where you can watch the movie in full. As if that’s not already more Morbius than anyone could require, folks were also getting Morbius, the entire movie, sent to them in Discord messages earlier this week. There just seems to be a rabid fanbase for this film—or “Morbheads,” as they like to call themselves in various Twitch chats, who want to share the love of Morbius with everyone, whether the rest of us want the film or not.
“Here’s the thing: I’m not gonna get banned for watching Morbius because nobody gives a fuck about it,” Kujou_TV said at the beginning of his Morbius stream. “They want people to pirate the movie because nobody’s buying it.”
Kotaku has reached out to Twitch for comment.
I can confirm that as of this writing the Amplifying channel—whose description reads: “I have determined that Morbius (2022) is an important film, perhaps the most important film of the 21st century”—was streaming Morbius in its entirety. I’ve been watching the stream on a loop all morning with over 2000 chatters spamming “Morbilization,” “It’s Morbing Time,” “Morbheads Unite,” and other hilarious variations on the title’s name. It’s a great time, as it seems viewers can’t get enough of Jared Leto’s silly, over-the-top performance as Marvel’s living vampire. Honestly, I can’t either, and maybe that’s the point—especially with everything going on.
It’s unclear if Twitch is aware of Morbius’ proliferation. One thing’s for sure, though: According to the company’s community guidelines, streaming a film “without permission from the rights holders or unless otherwise permitted by law” is against the rules and could result in channel termination. And while it appears that some of the live channels streaming the film are slowly getting taken down, a few of the Morbius VODs remain available to rewatch. For now.