The director did not wait for Ready Player One to play with his own films.
This Easter weekend, let’s go hunting for eggs … in the film of Steven Spielberg. In 2018, the release of Ready Player One, a blockbuster filled with nods to pop culture from the 1970s / 1980s / 1990s, made us want to dive back into the filmmaker’s filmography. Some winks seen in this work are also directly inspired by the director’s own films. The T-Rex of Jurassic Park appears for example in the promo, and his scene in the film is nothing “free”, it is even on the contrary particularly well thought out. This is far from being a first for the 71-year-old filmmaker, who has never stopped self-referencing and making allusions to his friends (George Lucas in mind) within his filmo, whether in his productions (Meetings of the Third Kind, E.T., Hook…) Or its productions (Back to the future, Les Gremlins, Les Goonies…). The release of his adaptation of the novelErnest Cline marks a good opportunity to dive back into this game. Ready? Go!
7 winks well hidden in the teaser of Ready Player One
1977: Third Kind Encounters launches the R2-D2 cameo game
You had to have a lynx eye to spot it, but by 1977, the year of release Star Wars, Steven Spielberg had fun cramming a mini-robot on the spaceship in his movie Third Kind Encounters. The game will then continue on Indiana Jones, where it appears on a hieroglyph with C-3PO (without forgetting the “Obi Wan Club” At the beginning of Cursed temple), then on his productions The Goonies (a detail of the boat visible only in the film bonuses) or transformers (where R2 flies away during one of the multiple explosions of Michael Bay), before other directors get started: J. J. Abrams, a big fan of Amblin productions, has taken up this idea in his episodes of Star trek.
See all the “cameos” of R2-D2
1980: Steven self-parodies in 1941
Yes 1941, written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale and directed by Steven Spielberg, is thought of as a parody of war films, its opening scene openly repeats one of the key passages from Sea teeth, his horrific blockbuster from 1975. The parody is obvious, the team having rehired the same victim, Susan Backlinie, and she’s taken to music, John williams having fun quoting his famous theme (see below “The musical winks“).
Ready Player One: “It worried Steven Spielberg a lot about self-referencing, he was afraid of self-promotion”
1982: AND. multiplies winks to Star Wars (and vice versa)
The friendship between Steven Spielberg and George Lucas has inspired many references in their respective filmographies. ET extraterrestrial is one of the most egregious examples, with a character who passes in front of the camera disguised as Yoda during the Halloween party or several toys drawn from Star Wars in Elliott’s room. Spielberg even offered a role to Harrison Ford. The interpreter of Han Solo and Indiana Jones, who was also in a relationship with the screenwriter Melissa mathison, played the principal of the little boy, to whom he is summoned following the “foolery” of the alien (who made Elliott’s chair levitate during the sequence). The actor had accepted the idea of turning back and against the light. So you couldn’t really see him, but the most attentive spectators could recognize his voice. The scene has however and cut, because its side “dark movie” didn’t stick to the rest of the movie. It is now only visible as a bonus, unfortunately of poor quality.
Steven Spielberg explains why he cut Harrison Ford in E.T.
Note that Lucas subsequently returned the favor to Spielberg by including ETs on the board of The Phantom Menace, in 1999. What “Explain” why the extraterrestrial recognized Yoda 17 years earlier: they simply come from the same galaxy!
Steven Spielberg He also offered himself a cameo in this film, at the end, among the doctors who look after the little alien, a game that he regularly remakes, especially in his productions.
It is also the only feature film he has edited digitally, following “The example” from his friend George: he had the police weapons replaced by walkie-talkies. Recently, however, he assured that he would no longer edit his films.
1984: Gremlins multiplies the winks (from its poster!)
If it’s Joe Dante who staged Gremlins, Steven Spielberg is in production with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. It’s officially the first film to open with the Amblin logo, created from E.T’s cult image. and Elliott riding his bike in front of the moon. A scene teased from the outset, provided you have good eyes: the logo is included on the button of the hero’s jeans!
Did you know ? E.T is hiding on the Gremlins poster
Once in front of the film, Gremlins is filled with references to Spielberg and Lucas. There is of course the scene where the beast responds “home telephone”, but also video games Star Wars, a radio ad for Rock’n Ricky Rialto that talks about Indiana Jones and even an appearance of Steven himself perched on a kind of electric chair while watching Poltergeist, another of his successful productions (in which hung toys and sheets of guess what saga).
Without forgetting another well hidden joke: two fake films announced in front of the cinema of the district: A Boy’s Life and Watch the skies, which are none other than the working titles ofAND and Met…
Finally, note that the Goonies live in the same universe as the Gremlins. We know this from the short response from a policeman in the first, who believes in a joke when he receives a call for help from Choco and complains that he is fed up with the kids making fun of him . He then recounts having received another film shot about small creatures that multiply when you sprinkle them with water. An idea of the scriptwriter Chris Columbus, who wrote the two films.
My cult scene from Gremlins, by Joe Dante
1985: Marty can watch The Teeth of the Sea 19 in Back to the future 2
This is one of the most famous easter eggs in the history of cinema: coming into the future, Marty McFly is afraid of a shark hologram, which praises the release of Teeth of the sea 19. He screams, before recovering: “The shark always looks fake.” An excellent joke, which has pleased the producer of Back to the future, Steven Spielberg, which he validated his fake trailer in 2015 (the year of the future in the film). And the trilogy of Robert Zemeckis is one of its main references Ready Player One.
1991: Hook or the revenge of Carrie Fisher
Always as close to George Lucas, Steven Spielberg offers him a short cameo with his princess Leia, Carrie Fisher, in Hook, its free rereading of Peter Pan carried by Robin Williams. They play a kissing couple that begins to float when touched by fairy dust. It was also the actress who served as a model for “designate” Clochette, role finally offered to Julia Roberts. And Hook was also partly rewritten by Carrie, famous for his scouring humor, which was often called to the rescue as a doctor script in Hollywood.
1993: Homage to Goonies well hidden in Jurassic Park
It’s a little twisted, but once we have seen it, it is impossible to believe in a coincidence: the employee Dennis Nedry, played by Wayne Knight, wears three outfits during the film, and each one takes those of the young heroes of Goonies : Choco’s floral shirt, Bagou’s gray jacket and Mickey’s yellow anorak. And guess what movie he’s watching on his computer instead of working. Star Wars? Lost : Jaws.
In terms of cameos, it’s in the following The lost World, released in 1997, that Steven is going to let go of: he himself appears in the end as a reflection on Malcolm television (a mistake? Or a way of saying that he is with them on the living room sofa?), his scriptwriter David Koepp gets caught by the T-Rex when it arrives in town, and in the video club, there are winks to fictional films ofArnold Schwarzenegger, Robin Williams and Tom hanks, which are currently showing of King Lear, Jack and the magic bean and Tsunami Sunrise.
40 years of Hollywood blockbusters: Jurassic Park (1993)
1997: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas come from another galaxy in Men in black
“Visitors. From elsewhere. Ohhh!” Oops, we mix a little in our successful sagas, but yes, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas appear well as extraterrestrials in Men in black, which the first co-produced. They appear on the screen of the aliens alongside Sylvester Stallone or Barry Sonnenfeld (director). It’s also Steven who personally offered the main roles to Will smith and Tommy Lee Jones, based on a suggestion from the director regarding the first, as he was a big fan of Prince of Bel Air.
2011: The Adventures of Tintin Jones: The Secret of Peter Jackson
Steven Spielberg discovered Tintin in the 1980s, after reading a comparison between his first installment ofIndiana Jones and comicsHerge in a review. He then tried to adapt them for years, and it was in 2011, 30 years after the release of Adventurers of the Lost Ark, that this dream becomes reality, in 3D animation. If his film is very similar to the adventures of the archaeologist (same virtuoso vivacity in terms of staging, in particular), the director finally makes few real nods to his filmo. He has well “designed” the character of Sakharine in his image (a concept taken over in Ready Player One, where Tye Sheridan and Mark Rylance are double), but he has more fun referencing friends, especially Peter jackson, producer who worked closely with him on the project and still has to turn his sequel. When Captain Haddock exclaims “a giant Sumatran rat!”, it’s a nod to Brain Dead. And at the beginning, among the destinations mentioned in the credits, most evoke comics (the Moon, Tibet…), but not Miramar, which designates the city of New Zealand where Peter jackson built his studios. On the other hand, his adaptation contains many hundreds of winks to the comics ofHerge, which creates a “tribute film” absolutely fascinating.
The musical winks
Steven Spielberg having very often worked with the composer John williams, the two artists were able to make some auditory jokes to their audience. From 1977, in Type meetings, you could hear some notes from Jaws, released two years before. An idea overtly parodically taken up in 1941, therefore, and which was also developed for Ready Player One by Alan Silvestri, which can take an extract from his famous theme of Back to the future when the hero, Wade / Parzival, is driving the DeLorean.
Zero nods to Star Wars in Ready Player One?