Everybody loves a good movie Easter egg. This year was jam-packed full of movies with in-universe movie references and cool bits of trivia – comedic treats that only eagle-eyed fans will spot.
How many of these in-jokes did you spot in 2018?
Ralph Breaks the Internet – Little Mo
Practically the entire runtime of the Wreck-It Ralph sequel is devoted to Easter eggs, in-jokes and pop culture references – frankly we’ll be finding treats for years to come in this one. One obvious trivia trinket to find, however, resides in the movie’s end credits, where Vanellope and Ralph mention they hate it when movies don’t feature scenes you see in the trailer – and then the Pancake Milkshake game from the movie’s own trailer plays in full.
Fans initially noticed that the baby girl playing the app in the trailer looked like Moana as a baby, and in the full scene in the movie, we hear the girl’s mother – voiced by Nicole Scherzinger, as per Moana – call the little girl “Mo”, confirming the rumour. Or… almost.
Deadpool 2 – Alpha Flight
A movie as meta and superhero savvy as Deadpool was always going to be crammed to the gills with Easter eggs, and fans weren’t disappointed. Some were more obvious than others – like Deadpool calling Josh Brolin’s character Cable by the name Thanos – but others were a little more subtle.
For example, Dopinder’s taxicab features an ad for an airline company called “Alpha Flight”, which was the name of Canada’s greatest comic-book superhero ensemble – itself a neat little nod to Ryan Reynolds’ proud Canadian heritage. Alpha Flight was also the name of the group set up by Captain Marvel in the comic-books in 2015, so it’s an Easter egg with a double yolk.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Alternate universe movie posters
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) December 13, 2018
It figures that if the many worlds in the multiverse have different versions of Spider-Man, then the movie theatres would have different movies too.
If you were quick you may have spotted some fictional movie posters in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, but in case you didn’t, Seth Rogen and Edgar Wright both tweeted out images of their alternate universe motion pictures.
No matter what dimension you’re in, I’ll be there making movies. Go check out Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was made by some of my wildly talented friends who I’m jealous of. pic.twitter.com/R6H837fCee
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) December 12, 2018
Rogen stars in a stoner horse racing comedy called Hold Your Horses and Wright directed From Dusk Til Shaun, which was what the scrapped sequel to Shaun Of The Dead was going to be called.
Solo: A Star Wars Story – Kessel Run
Though we still have a bad feeling about Lucasfilm recasting Harrison Ford for this prequel story, Solo did a lot of things right – and actually aligned a piece of Star Wars trivia that’s always been wrong. George Lucas’s original script for A New Hope had Han Solo brag that he’d made the Kessel Run in “12 parsecs”, but parsecs are actually a real unit used to measure distance and not time, so the line never really made sense.
In Solo, however, we see Han perform the impossible feat and learn that, actually, the Kessel Run is completed by drastically cutting the distance travelled, rather than by doing it faster. So now, technically, that line in the original movie is correct. Never question Darth Lucas.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – You can’t run, you can’t hide
Every movie in the series since the original has tipped its cap to Steven Spielberg’s original, but Jurassic World sequel Fallen Kingdom has a few obvious nods towards the OG Jurassic Park.
Most notably, when little Maisie Lockwood attempts to hide in the dumbwaiter to escape the Indoraptor, she does so in exactly the same way that Tim and Lex did when trying to hide in a cupboard in the kitchen – the shot is framed in precisely the same way, and the door jams just as it did before.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Easter eggs to the Max
Fallout linked back to each of the Mission: Impossible movies in several small ways – for example, we know that Ethan Hunt is an expert in rock climbing during the movie’s finale because we’ve already seen him do it in M:I-2.
One throwback to the very first Mission: Impossible movie, however, is easy to miss: Vanessa Kirby’s character, criminal broker the White Widow, mentions her mother Max in a speech, which makes her the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave’s deal-maker, who first tangled with Ethan back in 1996.
And, in off-camera trivia, Redgrave is actually friends with Kirby’s family, so the bond runs deep.
The Cloverfield Paradox – Bringing the universe together
JJ Abrams built his empire on geeky little film details, so it’s no surprise that The Cloverfield Paradox continues the tradition of Easter eggs linking back to past movies in the series.
Blink and you’ll miss her, but the newscaster seen briefly on a TV news report is the very same woman who will later frantically knock on the door of the house in 10 Cloverfield Lane, begging to be let in. Not only that, but she’s interviewing Mark Stambler, the brother of John Goodman’s 10 Cloverfield Lane character, Howard Stambler.
A Quiet Place – Once you pop, you can’t stop
No movie did a better job in world building than A Quiet Place, the sci-fi that introduced us to aliens who were super-sensitive to sound. In a world where noise means instant death, it figures society would thin out and eventually fall apart, leading to looting and salvaging.
One nice detail can be spotted in the movie when John Krasinski’s band of survivors raid a supermarket, and the only food left on the shelves are bags of crisps – which are famously impossible to eat quietly. Doritos or death? Tough call.
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies – Stan Lee lives on
Are you even watching a superhero movie if it doesn’t have a Stan Lee cameo? Arguably not, because now even non-Marvel movies are getting in on the action. Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie ‘Into The Spider-Verse’ featured a fitting Stan cameo, although that’s fair enough as Lee did have a hand in the creation of the character.
However, even Warner Bros’ Teen Titans Go movie managed to snag Stan the Man, who jumps onto the Titans’ golf kart during an escape: “I’m back! I don’t care if it’s a DC movie… I love cameos!” he says, as he’s thrown to the ground. “Excelsior!” We’re guessing precious few of the Teen Titans target market understand that Stan is typically a Marvel man through and through.
Ready Player One – Everything. Literally all of it
Seriously: Ready Player One is the ultimate Easter egg movie – it’s a movie about discovering Easter eggs that are itself one giant Easter egg treasure trove, and it was released on Easter weekend.
Easter much? Almost every scene has a pop culture character cameo or reference, with pop-up appearances by Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Duke Nukem, King Kong and other entertainment icons too numerous to mention.
One marginally more subtle Easter egg sees a character take the form of legendary anime robot Gundam, jumping from the spaceship Serenity from Joss Whedon’s Firefly, to fight Mechagodzilla alongside The Iron Giant. Okay, ‘subtle’ is probably not the right word here.