Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is full of pop culture references from the ’80s and ’90s. Although only two trailers have been released thus far, the director has been able to cram several easter eggs into the short clips.
For the uninitiated, most of Ready Player One takes place in a virtual reality system known as OASIS, created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday. When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital easter egg he has hidden somewhere in OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world.
The hero of the film, Wade Watts, enters the contest and begins a treasure hunt for the easter egg that leads him through a universe full of current and past pop culture references.
Watch the official trailers for a refresher and then peep the list below to see what hits of nostalgia you can look forward to when the film releases on March 30, 2018.
The soundtrack is one big easter egg
Those who listened carefully will have heard the lyrics “let me take you on a trip” from Depeche Mode’s 1990 track “World In My Eyes.” The title very obviously alludes to the VR headset that is used to enter the alternate reality known as OASIS.
Van Halen’s “Jump” is also played as both a nod to Halliday’s affinity for the ’80s as well as an homage to another sci-fi flick from the same period, Back to the Future, which featured a musical cameo from the rock star.
This reference is as straightforward as they come. King Kong is seen hanging off of New York City’s Empire State Building in a nod to the finale of the classic film in which the ape fends off planes that are attacking him.
John Cusack’s Boombox
Cameron Crowe’s 1989 rom-com, Say Anything, featured John Cusack lifting his boombox above his head in a scene that became synonymous with the era. Never one to miss a chance to reference an iconic film moment, Spielberg has Wade’s avatar hold a boombox high up over his shoulders à la Cusack.
Harley Quinn and Heath Ledger’s Joker
In the first teaser trailer, viewers were treated to a glimpse of DC Comics’ Harley Quinn. Now, Spielberg has introduced the Joker into the mix and, if you look closely at his face paint and scars, his visage seems to be a nod to both Heath Ledger’s legendary portrayal of the criminal in The Dark Knight. Others, however, have claimed Spielberg's Joker is a nod to the Arkhamverse.
Video game heroes from all eras
Spielberg and co. have also made sure to accommodate audiences of all video game eras with the inclusion of Tracer, a hero from Blizzard’s award-winning multiplayer title Overwatch, and Street Fighter’s Chun-Li. Both of the warriors can be seen just before a massive battle scene.
Freddy Krueger & Chucky
While the Comic-Con teaser revealed that Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger would make an appearance in the movie, another horror-movie mainstay in the form of Chucky is included in the new trailer.
In other news, the trailer for Ridley Scott’s new AMC series was unveiled and you can watch it here.