There was so much going on in the first trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, that we completely missed an Easter egg that pays homage to the late great Marvel creator, Stan Lee. Luckily, eagle-eyed viewer @MarvelousRealm pointed out the moment on Twitter. When Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and Venom (also Hardy) walk into Mrs. Chen's bodega around the 49-second mark, Venom straightens an out-of-focus magazine that bears Lee's smiling face on its cover.
Plenty of us overlooked this subtle gesture, probably because we were focused on the fact that Mrs. Chen is totally nonplussed by the alien parasite sticking out of Eddie's back. Still, that shouldn't be too surprising; after all, she did see a petty criminal swallowed whole at the end of the last movie. Since that time, the dynamic duo has been protecting the shop in exchange for copious amounts of chocolate.
Take a look for yourself in the screen grab below:
"Venom, of course feels trapped, because he can't leave Eddie's body unless he has his permission," director Andy Serkis explained to IGN. "And when they go out, the deal is, 'You live in my body, you live by my rules. And we're under threat. We're in a dangerous position here. We've got to keep quiet.' And nobody must know because of all the things that happened in the last story, if people find out and get a grip of what's going on then we'll both be hauled into Area 51 and examined."
Written by Kelly Marcel (a co-writer on the first movie), the sequel will pit Eddie and Venom against murderer Cletus Kasady, who bonds with an incredibly vicious symbiote known as Carnage. Based on the trailer, it seems like Kasady breaks free of prison just as he's about to executed via lethal injection. In the comics, Venom and Carnage are both Spider-Man villains and while Let There Be Carnage is connected to Sony's Spider-Verse (which includes Tom Holland's Peter Parker), it skirts around the concept of the MCU by having Eddie be ignorant of Spider-Man and other heroes.
“Obviously, there are links between Venom and Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe and the Spider-Man story,” Serkis added. “We're treating this very much as it's his own world. The Venom story is his own world. There are nods and little moments [like the shot of the newspaper the Daily Bugle], of course, but on the whole he's unaware. They are unaware, at this point, of other characters like Spider-Man. So, that's the way we've chosen to play this particular episode of the movie, but, well, we'll wait and see. We'll see what little things you can pick out of it."
Based on a story by Hardy and Marcel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage will bond with the big screen Friday, Sep. 24.