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Small Details You Missed In The Venom: Let There Be Carnage Trailer

The first trailer for "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" has finally arrived, and it definitely lives up to the sequel's subtitle.

Directed by Andy Serkis, "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" once again features Tom Hardy — who conceived the story with writer Kelly Marcel — as mild-mannered journalist Eddie Brock, who, thanks to an alien symbiote living inside of his body, occasionally transforms into Venom, a super-strong and unbelievably violent being. As Eddie tries to juggle his difficult double life, he must also face off against the sequel's brand-new villain: Carnage, another symbiote who lives inside maniacal serial killer Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson.

Whether or not you're already familiar with the lore of "Venom," there's plenty for fans to pore over in this trailer. From some interesting music choices and tiny references to the original "Venom" comics to new cast members and hidden Easter eggs, here's everything you might have missed in the ultra-violent first trailer for "Venom: Let There Be Carnage." 

A song with a lot of symbolism

The trailer for "Venom 2" opens with a look into Eddie Brock's messy apartment, before we see Venom's tentacle turning a radio dial and landing on an old jazz song. Venom continues to messily prepare breakfast — chopping mushrooms and flinging them into a frying pan, blending food without putting a lid on the machine — while Eddie stands nearby in a daze. Venom jauntily sings along with the tune, underscoring the difference between his and Eddie's moods.

The song itself – Ella Fitzgerald's "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" – seems to be a sign that the relationship between Eddie and Venom is more strained than ever, as it includes some pretty telling lines: "Things have come to a pretty pass / Our romance is growing flat / For you like this and the other / While I go for this and that / Goodness knows what the end will be / Oh I don't know where I'm at / It looks as if we two will never be one / Something must be done." 

It's interesting that Venom is singing the song, though Eddie looks to be the one who's troubled. Venom also changes some lyrics and sings "I" instead of "you" at times, which reflects the pair's symbiotic relationship. It seems like Eddie may be growing tired of playing host to Venom, and the song could be teasing a conflict between the two — which would be a significant plot point in the movie if it's the case.

Who is Woody Harrelson's Cletus Kasady?

We've known for a while that Woody Harrelson will bring Cletus Kasady to life in "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," following up the cameo appearance he made at the end of the first film. The trailer indicates that he's going to be quite the formidable opponent for the film's titular anti-hero, as it teases a big showdown between the pair, and it's safe to assume that much scenery will be chewed in the process.

In the comics, Eddie Brock and Cletus Kasady have a history with one another. First introduced in 1991's "The Amazing Spider-Man" #344, Kasady is a sociopathic serial killer who becomes the host for Carnage, an alien symbiote who's much nastier than Venom. Due to Kasady's lack of moral compass as a human, things get even worse when Carnage is part of the equation. Together, the pair have been guilty of some pretty heinous crimes throughout the years, including killing dogs and setting fire to orphanages. 

That being said, Kasady is depicted as somewhat of a sympathetic character in the Marvel comics, as he had a tough upbringing courtesy of his abusive mother and grandmother. It will be interesting to see how "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" explores his troubled backstory and his connection to Eddie, especially since Eddie is the only person that Kasady wants to speak to at the outset, sparking an investigation into where the bodies of Kasady's victims are (via IGN).

The Ravencroft Institute will be in Venom 2

The trailer for "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" offers a brief look at the entrance to the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane, where Cletus Kasady is being held. The notorious supervillain was actually born in the asylum to his mother Louise Kasady, as explained in 2018's "Web of Venom: Carnage Born" #1. Kasady finds himself back at his birthplace after he's captured for heinous crimes. There, he meets his love interest Shriek, aka Frances Barrison, who also makes a brief appearance in the trailer — but more on her later.

In the Marvel comics, Kasady's actions lead to the destruction of Ravencroft, which appears to happen in the trailer as well. It looks like Kasady is going to be executed by lethal injection, but something goes wrong, as Kasady is screaming in pain and the windows of the room he's being held in shatter. The trailer then cuts to show a massive building up in flames, and we're led to believe this is Ravencroft.

As it happens, there's comic book precedence for this incident. Famous Marvel villain Wilson Fisk funds the cleanup of the asylum in 2020's "Ruins of Ravencroft" #1, but there's some interference from Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, of the Fantastic Four. Richards wants to ensure that the new facility is going to be used properly, and is a thorn in Fisk's side. In "Ravencroft" #1, the Daredevil villain hires Norman Osborn and other famous Marvel baddies to work in the resurrected asylum.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage's references to The Daily Bugle

Marvel fans have long known how important "The Daily Bugle" is in the sprawling world of Spider-Man, and since both Venom and Carnage are established Spidey villains in the comics, it's fitting that "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" reference the newspaper-turned-online-outlet. At one point, Eddie visits the "Daily Bugle" website, and in the next scene, Detective Mulligan (Stephen Graham) is reading a hard copy of the newspaper (more on that in a bit).

These two references in the trailer make it clear that the newspaper is part of the "Venom" franchise just as it is in the "Spider-Man" films, but that doesn't mean all the characters are aware of one another's existence. That's simply not what's happening in "Venom 2," according to director Andy Serkis. As he explained in a breakdown of the trailer over on IGN's YouTube channel, "Obviously, there are links between Venom and Spider-Man in the Marvel Universe and the Spider-Man story, but in this, 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 just like this, the newspaper Daily Bugle, of course, but on the whole, [Eddie is] unaware, they're unaware, at this point of other characters like Spider-Man. ... We'll wait and see what little things you can pick out of it."

Detective Mulligan and E. Larson

In the trailer, we see Detective Mulligan reading the West Coast Edition of "The Daily Bugle," with a headline that highlights Cletus Kasady's "hidden victims." While Mulligan may seem like your typical detective whose primary goal is to get justice for Kasady's victims and lock up the villain for life, there might be more to him than meets the eye. In the pages of Marvel Comics, there's a character named Patrick Mulligan, who works as a police officer and — get this — ends up becoming the host for the terrifying symbiote Toxin, which has all of Venom and Carnage's powers but heightened to a greater degree. Could we see Toxin bind to Detective Mulligan in "Venom 2"? Never say never.

Watch carefully as Mulligan shuts the newspaper, and you'll spot a headline on another page that seemingly reads, "Avengers Lose to Nightmare." This could be a blanket statement or an incomplete headline — the Avengers have lost a battle to a nightmarish villain, or they lost in a nightmare of a situation — or it might be a nod to the Marvel Comics supervillain Nightmare, who might play a part in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

Now, behind Mulligan in this specific shot is a wanted poster for a man named E. Larson. Erik Larsen, spelled with an "E" instead of an "O," is a popular name in Marvel Comics and has strong ties to Spider-Man. The author, publisher, and artist's first big works for Marvel came with 1990's "The Amazing Spider-Man" #239, for which he designed the cover art. A year later, in 1991, Larsen created the character of Cletus Kasady in "The Amazing Spider-Man" #344.

The wanted poster in the trailer appears to be a nod to the former Marvel writer, and the intentional misspelling of his name might either be Sony Pictures' way of throwing a little bit of shade at Larsen or making the reference a bit less obvious. Larsen left Marvel Comics in 1992 to create the comic book publishing company Image Comics. Still alive and well today, Image Comics is the publisher behind "The Walking Dead," "Invincible," "Spawn," and "Kick-Ass." Other former Marvel names who left with Larsen include Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefield, who co-created Deadpool and Cable.

Cletus Kasady's spider-smashing

Right after an offscreen Cletus Kasady says how the people who are left behind are "waiting in the darkness for the rescuer who never comes," we see him smash the spider that crawls across his postcard, killing it instantly. This spider-crushing moment is a clear reference to the fact that both Carnage and Venom are Spider-Man villains.

Though Venom aims to fight evil, he's still a monster. But Kasady, however, is much more menacing when infected with a symbiote, becoming Carnage, a monster with no moral compass. The main difference between Carnage and Venom as Spider-Man villains is that Venom, while often an antagonist to Spider-Man, has also teamed up with the heroic web-slinger. Carnage is an absolute villain who's stronger than both Venom and Spider-Man, and because he's taken over the serial killer Kasady, he has no love for Spider-Man, hence the smashing.

To Eddie Brock, from Cletus Kasady?

Elsewhere in the trailer for "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," we see Cletus Kasady in what appears to be his prison cell, writing on a postcard. This postcard appears to be the same one we see Eddie holding while he sits down to eat breakfast at the beginning of the trailer, before Venom haphazardly sprays a bottle of ketchup across the room, splattering the card as well. The ketchup on Eddie's face and chest looks a lot like blood, undoubtedly alluding to the bloodshed and violence Venom incites.

The postcard has some type of intricate red pattern on it, and we wonder if this pattern will hold any deeper meaning. Where did Kasady get this postcard, and what is he writing on it? Will these handwritten exchanges kick off a kind of cat-and-mouse game between Eddie and Kasady, where the latter torments the former from afar until they finally meet in person again? We'll have to wait to know all the details.

Say hello to Shriek

At a couple of points in the "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" trailer, viewers may see a familiar face: British actress Naomie Harris, perhaps most famously associated with the role of Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond movies "Skyfall" and "Spectre." In the "Venom" sequel, Harris is taking the role of Shriek, who's historically Cletus Kasady's love interest.

Toward the middle of the trailer, we see Harris' character — who isn't explicitly named at any point in the footage – lying down on her right side, with a glimpse of her face revealing what appear to be scars over her left eye. These scars seem to match up with those that Shriek's human alter-ego Frances Barrison is known to have in the pages of Marvel Comics (via Fandom). 

In Marvel canon, Barrison is Kasady's fellow patient at the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane, and he frees her when he escapes the mental institute. Later, two figures can be seen walking away from a blazing structure — even more proof that Kasady does destroy Ravencroft in "Venom 2." Later on in the trailer, we see Harris' character in a holding cell, kneeling on the floor with head leant back and letting out a high-pitched cry that could most aptly be described as a shriek.

We don't know for certain at this point whether Kasady and Barrison will be a couple, but Andy Serkis did note that Barrison is just as dangerous as her counterpart. "She's a damaged soul, and she really has suffered in her childhood, but there is a real vulnerability about her, and she's in a lot of pain. ... She's been living in isolation for years — years and years," Serkis said (via IGN). "She has her own sense of fairness and ... when that line is crossed, then you see a very, very dangerous, dark side to her, and that's what we wanted to do with the character."

Got any chocolate?

As countless grimacing mouths full of nicotine lozenges will happily attest, it's hard to kick old habits and it definitely helps to have a safety net — something to take the edge off those sharp turns on the road to becoming a better you. The trailer for "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" calls back to one of Marvel's more peculiar cessation aids. 

In the '90s Marvel Comics miniseries "Venom: The Hunger," readers learn that the Venom symbiote has a doozy of a monkey on its back: He's addicted to consuming human brains. Why brains? They produce a chemical called phenethylamine, which Venom had been milking from Eddie Brock's brain for years, leaving it dried up. A few issues of extreme shenanigans later, and Eddie and Venom symbiote realize that they could get the same sweet phenethylamine rush from a bar of delicious chocolate.

The trailer for "Venom 2" shouts out to this storyline in a couple of ways. First, Eddie posts around his apartment helpful reminders to not eat anybody. Then, in the final moments of the trailer, comes a nod to the protection racket being run on Mrs. Chen (Peggy Lu) in the first film; when she says she doesn't have the Wonka-licious brain substitute that Venom so desperately needs, she wonders aloud if they'll stop protecting her as a result. It's a silly note to end the trailer, but then again, isn't that part of what makes the "Venom" franchise so much fun?

"Venom: Let There Be Carnage" is set to open in theaters on September 24.