Ruben Fleischer, director of Venom, has long promised that the film is absolutely full of Easter eggs. A comic book fan in his own right, Fleischer has always said he hopes this is a movie that fellow fans will truly appreciate.
The trailers for Venom have stressed that the film is remarkably comic-book-accurate, right down to lifting entire scenes or lines of dialogue straight from the comics. Amusingly enough, one of the most controversial lines of dialogue in the second trailer - "Eyes, lungs, pancreas ... so many snacks, so little time" - was pulled straight from The Amazing Spider-Man #374. According to Fleischer, anyone familiar with the original Venom comic books will recognize a lot more than just the one line.
Naturally, many of the Easter eggs would serve as spoilers. Speaking to Fleischer at the Venom press junket, though, Screen Rant had an opportunity to ask if there are any he can reveal at this stage. He was surprisingly forthcoming, revealing a whole host of minor Easter eggs:
"The name of the building he lives in is called the Schuller building. Randy Schuller is the name is the fan who suggested the black suit for Spider-Man. There's this famous story where he got $50 for suggesting the black suit and that's what spawned the Venom origin. The law firm that Anne Weying works for is Michelinie & McFarlane. Eddie's texting somebody at one point, can I get a job, and that's the editor of the Daily Globe, Barney Bushkin. We tried to weave them in. Even just trying to acknowledge his backstory in New York for fans of the comics. There was a scandal with Eddie Brock. He tried to expose the Sin-Eater and that lead to his demise and being fired from his newspaper so we didn't say it directly, that was a nod to the comics."
Until 2007, the identity of the fan who came up with the idea of the black suit was a mystery. Then CBR's Brian Cronin discussed the history of the black suit in his "Comic Book Legends Revealed" column, and Randy Schueller wrote in to confirm that he was in fact the anonymous fan. Back in the early '80s, Marvel had run a competition for aspiring writers and artists; Schueller applied with the suggestion of a new costume, a black stealth-suit with a blood-red spider-symbol. Marvel bought the idea for $220, and the rest was history. Ironically enough, Schueller admitted that he was never really enamored with the direction his idea took. "I was never a fan of the costume-turned-villain idea," he noted.
David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane were the co-creators of Eddie Brock, and oddly enough without McFarlane Venom would never have been born. As he noted on social media, McFarlane didn't really like the black suit, he preferred the traditional Spider-Man costume. Marvel agreed to bring the red-and-blue outfit back in Amazing Spider-Man #300 if McFarlane signed up for the book, and he agreed. The only problem was deciding what to do with Spider-Man's dark costume. McFarlane's solution to that dilemma was Venom, a character he never expected to become so popular.
Finally, the reference to Barney Bushkin is a deep cut into Spider-Man lore. He was a rival of J. Jonah Jameson, and became owner of the Daily Globe newspaper. Bushkin briefly hired Peter Parker as a photographer for a while, and made the mistake of publishing an ill-advised story by Eddie Brock. Sadly, Bushkin's journalistic career hit the rocks when the decline of the newspaper industry led to the Daily Globe going out of business. He still crops up as a background character every now and then, working on radio alongside - of all people - his old rival Jameson.
It's interesting to see how carefully Fleischer has attempted to weave his Easter eggs into Venom's narrative. Given these are only the ones he's willing to share before the film's release, no doubt comic book lovers will find a whole lot more when the movie comes out next week.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018