The Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer dropped today, and it includes a touching tribute to the late, great, Stan Lee. If you didn't catch it, rewatch Venom 2's trailer above and pay close attention around 0:48 seconds in. As Eddie Brock/Venom (Tom Hardy) goes to his local convenience store and helps out store owner Mrs. Chen (Peggy Lu) by straightening the magazines in the rack by the register. Those magazines all bear the face of Stan Lee, and it's good to see Venom 2 honoring its Marvel Comics roots by still giving Lee a cameo moment event after his death in 2017.
The first Venom had its own Stan Lee cameo - one that many fans never saw coming. Venom was released in 2018, months after Lee's death, and since the franchise is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was the uncertainty of whether or not the tradition of Lee showing up onscreen would carry over. Instead, fans got the surprise in the final minutes of Venom, as Eddie Brock reveals that his Venom symbiote is indeed still alive and talking in his head - a fact he had just denied to his ex-girlfriend Anne Weying (Michelle Williams). While walking away from Anne, and arguing with Venom, Eddie passes Stan Lee walking a dog, and Lee extends his hopes that Eddie and Venom can get it together, confirming his higher awareness of what transpires in the Marvel Universe.
Venom was one of the final times that Marvel got to see Stan Lee onscreen, so again: It's very nice to see Tom Hardy and director Andy Serkis add this touch to Venom 2. Fans have appreciated when projects like the Marvel Netflix series used Lee's image for fun Easter egg hunts; now that that's pretty much the only option, might as well embrace it.
Let There Be Carnage will feature Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady, the sadistic serial killer who gets his own symbiote and become the monster known as Carnage. The trailer for Venom 2 also teases a growing universe for the franchise, as the footage has teases of Carnage's partner/beau from the comics, Shriek, as well as a possible third major symbiote character (Toxin) making his debut. As for where the larger Venom franchise is headed? Well, director Andy Serkis assures Marvel fans the sequel is just a standalone... For now.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits theaters on September 24th.