It goes without saying that this point contains possible but unconfirmed SPOILERS for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 after credits sequence. While we cannot be sure, at least not yet, that the featured rumor here is true, if you are sensitive to spoilers, turn away now.

After a week of pre-release teaser photos and clips, Sony Pictures has finally unveiled a trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. During San Diego Comic-Con 2013, fans were treated to a brief video of Jamie Foxx as the villainous (and blue) Electro; however, since that time very little official marketing for the film has been released. Rumors and leaked photos indicated that Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man would be facing more than one threat in the sequel and the full length Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer confirms both a mech-suited Rhino and Green Goblin appearance.

Yet, seeing the recently unveiled villains in action wasn’t even the most talked about aspect of the trailer – as the footage also includes a very cool easter egg previewing future Sinister Six characters, Vulture and Doctor Octopus. That said, we’re now getting word that the brief snippet (which appears at the 1:14 mark in the trailer) is actually part of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 post-credits sequence – and that the full version will foreshadow a third (as well as fan-favorite) evildoer.

According to Screen Crush sources “close to the film,” the scene in question, which shows the shadowy figure from The Amazing Spider-Man post-credits sequence walking through a hallway past Vulture wings and Doctor Octopus tentacles, will also include a look at the Venom Symbiote. A lot of our readers already picked-up on the possibility that the scene might be part of a post or mid-credits stinger – and subsequently questioned why Sony would share the high-profile reveals in the very first trailer. The answer, it seems, is that the real surprise (the one that would have fans howling in the theater with excitement) is still offscreen, waiting to be unleashed when the movie actually hits theaters.

Rumors stemming from insider sources are routinely debunked but, in this case, details in the report mesh well with larger industry speculation and behind the scenes rumblings.

First, many fans are already worried that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is over-stuffed with story material and villains. It’s a valid concern, since packing too many characters into a single film is largely blamed for the shortcomings in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. The Doctor Octopus tentacles and Vulture wings added further fuel to the fire, as potential moviegoers began to wonder if director Marc Webb intended to introduce the entire Sinister Six roster in a single film.

Yet, if the controversial trailer scene is actually an after-credits sequence, then it merely shines a light on where the larger story is going in Part 3 (likely an Oscorp-backed super villain team) while relying on Rhino, Green Goblin, and Electro to wage Spider-Man’s “greatest battle” (so far). After all, even though the trailer features a lot of Rhino and Green Goblin, we don’t know for sure the villains will actually have significant roles in the sequel story, meaning that they (Rhino especially) might not be featured much (don’t worry: he’ll be back for the next one) – outside of one or two set pieces.

Secondly, even though the possibility that Webb intends to tease the Venom symbiote is exciting, especially after the watered down Topher Grace version in Spider-Man 3, it’s not surprising at all to anyone who has been following Sony’s development on the rebooted franchise. We’ve known for months, and were recently reminded only a few weeks ago, that the studio is interested in Spider-Man spin-offs and the frontrunner idea has always been to reintroduce Venom into the core storyline with the intention of giving him a standalone film (possibly film series). Readers who only know Venom as a one-note evildoer (in Spider-Man 3 as well as select video games and other media) might be surprised to discover that certain iterations of the character actually fall into anti-hero territory – with Spider-Man even teaming up with Venom to take down larger threats.

The character is rich with potential and smart opportunities for juxtaposition against Spider-Man. He’s more aggressive and less ethical – which means that Venom can take down characters that are untouchable for Spider-Man (given Peter Parker’s attempts at maintaining order and the moral high ground). For this reason, including Venom (or Lady Venom) into The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (via a tease in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 post-credits sequence) is a no-brainer move for Sony and could even mean that The Amazing Spider-Man 4 won’t be a Spider-Man story at all. The fourth film might actually kick-off an entire Venom saga and, in such a case, Spider-Man could appear as a supporting character in a Venom-centric story.

It’s way too early to know for sure but certain versions of the Venom symbiote were grown in the Oscorp lab (instead of an alien origin), leaving room for a narrative that sees Eddie Brock, or some other Venom character, exposed to the creature in that hall of super villain horrors. A Venom antihero story could then follow the character’s pursuit of someone even more dangerous, such as psychopath Cletus Kasady (aka Carnage), who was similarly exposed but is infinitely more evil – and subsequently poses a dangerous threat to New York City.

That’s just speculation for now, but depending on the approach that future directors (or Webb) take with this rumored Venom symbiote appearance, it’s definitely possible – especially since a lot of viewers still think Sony might be spreading their title wall-crawler too thin with biennial Amazing Spider-Man movies in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in U.S. theaters on May 2nd, 2014, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10th, 2016 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 on May 4th, 2018.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on The Amazing Spider-Man film series as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Screen Crush