Marvel fans went wild over the Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer that dropped yesterday, with it generating a lot of hype thanks to our first glimpse at Woody Harrelson’s Cletus Kasady. But as well as showcasing that iconic comic book villain, it also appears to have given a name-check to another major antagonist who’s making their way to the screen soon – Nightmare, with the big bad expected to star in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
One brief moment from the trailer has come under a lot of scrutiny, as it sees Stephen Graham’s Detective Peter Mulligan reading a copy of The Daily Bugle before crumpling it up in frustration. This clip is important for several reasons. For one, it marks the first time the Bugle has featured in a movie since 2007’s Spider-Man 3, while it also references the Avengers, which is a big deal for the Sony Marvel universe. You see, as Mulligan throws the paper down, we can glimpse the word “AVENGERS” in a headline on an inside page. Because of fans’ excitement over that name-drop, though, we’ve been overlooking another one.
As Geekosity has pointed out, the word on the next line of the headline is “NIGHTMARE.” “AVENGERS” also appears to be followed by the word “LOSE.” The outlet speculates, then, that the full headline reads: “AVENGERS LOSE TO NIGHTMARE.” This appears to be a nod to the dream-stalking supervillain who will be making his debut in Doctor Strange 2 and seeing as that film will bust open the doors to the Marvel multiverse, it feels like a pretty loaded easter egg.
In all honesty, though, it’s likely there just for the fans and we shouldn’t put too much stock in it. The fact that the Bugle newspaper exists at all clashes with the publication being reimagined as an Infowars-like news site in the MCU. It’s possible that Nightmare was alluded to as an in-joke, then, as original Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi is helming DS2. The design of the Bugle also matches the look of the paper in Raimi’s films. The biggest mystery, though, is why is this potentially world-altering story not front page news?
We’ll find out when Venom: Let There Be Carnage enters theaters on September 24th.