Milo comes off as a strange nickname for Morbius’ villain, Lucien, but there is a deeper reason why Morbius gives him that moniker in the first place.
Although Morbius follows a simple narrative, it intrigues and captivates with the mysteries surrounding Morbius’ anti-hero characterization and his strange moniker for the movie’s antagonist, Lucien. Lucien Crown, nicknamed Milo, is not exactly canon to the original comics but is heavily based on a Morbius villain named Loxias Crown. Considering that the name Lucien serves as a perfect callback to a character from the source material and also befits Matt Smith’s villainous characterization in Morbius, it is curious that he is referred to as Milo throughout the film. Moreover, it is also hard not to wonder why Morbius calls him Milo when he meets him for the first time, and somehow the nickname sticks till the end.
Morbius meets Lucien in a children’s ward in Greece where individuals with rare blood disorders are treated. When the younger version of Matt Smith’s character introduces himself as Lucien, Morbius corrects him and calls him Milo. Morbius explains his new nickname by claiming that all the boys previously on Lucien’s bed were also named Milo, which makes him the rightful successor of the moniker. What begins as a strange first encounter later blooms into a friendship that lasts until Jared Leto’s Morbius finds a cure for his blood disorder, but risks losing everything else.
Morbius’ nickname for Lucien seems to suggest that after spending significant time in the children’s ward, he develops a morbid outlook toward the world around him and accepts that most of his new friends at the ward will not be around for too long. To cope with this grim reality and remain unattached from his newfound friends, he starts naming all of his bedside buddies “Milo.” Perhaps unaware of Morbius’ initial intention, Milo feels right at home with Morbius and learns to accept his new name. When traced back to its Latin origin, the name Milo is derived from “miles,” which means “soldier.” This makes the moniker a lot more meaningful as it seems to indicate that Morbius hopes his friend will fight for his life against his disorder, like a soldier.
Lucien’s Name Change To Milo In Morbius Explained
Towards Morbius‘ ending moments, Jared Leto’s anti-hero character decides to save the world by killing Milo and stopping him from wreaking havoc with his lust for blood. Before apologizing for misusing his vampire abilities, Milo recalls how Morbius named him, which serves as a poignant callback to the day they first met and brings a full circle to Milo’s arc in the movie. This defining moment in Morbius‘ closing scenes may not be particularly hard-hitting, because of the lack of development surrounding Milo’s characterization. However, it serves as a compelling origin story for a flawed anti-hero like Morbius, who loses everything, from his girlfriend to his best friend, in the pursuit of curing himself.
Morbius actively tried to change the reality around himself from his childhood, changing Lucien’s name, into adulthood, where he made incredible advances in medicine in order to try and cure his condition. While the name Milo may have been invoking a fighting spirit for his friend, eventually, Milo lost his life at Morbius’ own hand, both his humanity after taking the cure and after going head-to-head with his old friend. The name change in Sony’s Morbius movie was meaningful as a way of defining both Morbius himself, and Lucien, as they fought against the world that wasn’t designed for them, and tried to change things for themselves.