Ready Player One is going to be a movie that is just full of easter eggs and references. There are so many that it's impossible to keep them out of the promotional material. Some of these references gave us new looks at things we'd seen before in the previous trailer, but many were brand new. Here's a rundown of every easter egg we noticed in the first full trailer for Ready Player One.
Tracer and Chun-Li
While we fully expect most of the references to pop culture from Ready Player One to focus on the 1980s, the fact is that the movie takes place decades in the future, which means current pop culture will also be "nostalgia properties" by then. Tracer is already one of the most popular characters in Overwatch, one of the most popular video games of today, so it makes sense she'll still be popular in the future. Next to her, we see a charging Chun-Li of Street Fighter fame. They're surrounded by some skeleton creatures and who might be Lara Croft and Solid Snake in the back.
Harley Quinn and Joker
We got a brief glimpse of Harley Quinn in the first trailer, but the new one gave us a much better look at the character, showing off what appears to be a version of the character inspired by the Batman: Arkham Asylum video game series. Also, the first trailer seemed to show Harley hanging out with Deathstroke, but here we see she's with the guy we'd expect her to be with The Joker. The smile is drawn out far past the mouth, which makes one think of Heath Ledger's version of the character, though he's wearing a jaunty hat which we've generally only seen in comic book interpretations of the villain.
The beginning of the trailer shows us a New York City skyline within the virtual world. With a virtual Empire State Building, we shouldn't be shocked to have a virtual King Kong at the top of it. This appears to be the classic version of the character, rather than the modern one we got in Kong: Skull Island. It shows that the nostalgia aspect of the film won't just move into our modern day, but it will also include some classics like the massive ape. With a monster-verse currently underway, it will be interesting to see if we get more monsters in Ready Player One as a quiet promotion of that.
This image is just a mass of characters, but most of them are far too small to make out. However, in the center of the image are three characters that look to be bipedal frogs. These are almost certainly the leads characters of Battletoads, the classic Nintendo game of excruciating difficulty. Seriously, beating that one was a badge of honor back in the day. We're pretty sure we see all three of them here, which means Rash, Zits, and Pimple are all on board for the new movie. Hopefully, we'll get to see them up close in the actual film.
Lara Croft and Blanka
The focus of the shot above is to see two of our lead characters, Parzival and Art3mis, out for a night together looking lovely. However, the scene around them is just full of additional characters. Between the heads of our two heroes is the head of somebody who appears to be Street Fighter's Blanka, while coming up to the bar behind Parzival is clearly the Tomb Raider herself, Lara Croft. We've seen this location a lot in the trailers, fans of the book will know it's where a major sequence in the book takes place.
At one point in this trailer, we get a close up of two hands lifting up a classic boombox, but later in the trailer, we get a look at exactly why it's happening. The moment is a reference to the 80s romance Say Anything, and while there is a brief mention of it in the book, the context of how the movie will use it appears to be different. Parzival looks to be using the music as a call to action, as he stands with the stereo above his head, and countless avatars begin to make there way down a hill.
Mobile Suit Gundam
Giant robots are an important part of Ready Player One. This includes one of the most famous franchises from all of Japanese anime, Mobile Suit Gundam. There have been multiple versions of the anime and, if the movie follows this part of the book properly, then we're guessing another of the story's primary characters is the one piloting this mech in a major battle near the end of the film. What little we see looks amazing in the trailer, so we can't wait to see this guy cut loose in the final film.
We never get a great look at this guy, but the pint-sized warrior wielding a knife with that unmistakable hair can only be one person,Chucky from the Child's Play movies. Traditionally Chuckie is a bad guy, so it's possible that one of the movie's villains is controlling this particular avatar. However, since all the bad guys in the film appear to be IOI soldiers, in their generic outfits, this could be another inhabitant of the OASIS who just decided that he really wanted to spend his virtual life as a homicidal doll. Considering how he's cutting through victims, we can certainly understand it.
We've seen the Akira cycle and Bigfoot before, in the previous teaser trailer. However, this new angle shows us something new, a billboard advertising Delta City. This is a subtle Robocop reference, as Delta City is the name of the corporate town that OCP wants to create from the ruin of Detroit in the original version of the film directed by Paul Verhoeven. If Robocop is being referenced here, one wonders if we might see the man himself at some other point in the film. If so, expect to see him toned down, as the original Robocop was an incredibly violent R-rated affair.
Mark Rylance plays the role of James Halliday, the Willy Wonka meets Steve Jobs creator of the virtual world knows as the OASIS. We see him in the trailer informing the world of his death, but the image we see of Halliday includes him wearing three pins. Two are difficult to make out, but the third is clearly a representation of the electronic memory game Simon. If you were a kid in the 1980s you probably played with one of those, and got frustrated by it, more than once. Not every reference is going to be a movie or TV show.
The Iron Giant
We saw The Iron Giant in the original teaser trailer, but we see him again here. This time, the Giant appears to be leading a massive number of OASIS avatars into battle. If the Iron Giant is being piloted by our film's hero, then this would seem to confirm the character will be replacing the giant mech Leopardon, a character from a very bizarre live-action Spider-Man TV series that aired in Japan in the 1970s and was used in the novel. It makes sense. Most audiences wouldn't recognize Leopardon, while many will know the Iron Giant.
Back to the Future/Knight Ridder
One of the few references to movies that Steven Spielberg made, that the director himself is letting into Ready Player One, is the Delorean from Back to the Future. Of course, this version of the classic car is a custom order, as this image shows the Knight Ridder red LED bar that shifts back and forth at the front of the car. It also reveals that at least one property that was associated with the car in the book will be missing, as the car door does not sport the Ghostbusters logo. You can't have everything.
Finally, we're not sure if this one counts, but the pedestal on which Halliday's easter egg sits, appears to include three-dimensional representations of the Mortal Kombat logo. Of course, since there are two of them, this could also be a reference to the 80s classic video game Double Dragon, but the dragons do look remarkably like the logo of the classic tournament fighter. Are we reading too much into it, or are we missing the reference? Let us know, and let us know if we missed anything, down in the comments.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.