Ready Player One: Every Pop-Culture Callout in the New Trailer


Next up is a reference that can't be missed, as viewers get a glimpse of King Kong hanging off of New York City's Empire State Building. The scene is a clear homage to third act of the 1933 classic, in which the beast fends off biplanes. One such aircraft can also be seen off to the left of Kong.

Say Anything ...

Few scenes evoke the 1980s more than the boombox sequence in Cameron Crowe's 1989 romantic comedy-drama Say Anything. Steven Spielberg obviously realized that, as we see an OASIS avatar, later revealed to be Wade's very own Parzival, holding one high up over his shoulders à la John Cusack.

The Clown Couple of Crime

DC Comics' Harley Quinn could actually first be observed in Ready Player One's teaser trailer as Wade entered the simulation, but now Quinzel is front and center in the new footage. She's not alone, either, as we also get a very quick look at who is most definitely the Clown Prince of Crime himself, the Joker, sporting a visage that seems to be a blend of his various incarnations.

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His face paint and damaged lips/face are clearly a callback to Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning portrayal from The Dark Knight. Unlike the 2008 film version, however, the hat the Joker is wearing is an homage to the design Brian Bolland created for The Killing Joke.

Tracer and Chun-Li

No Ready Player One trailer would be complete without several video game references, but the ones seen in this new footage show off just how far Spielberg and company went out of their way to accommodate audiences of all eras.

In a quick glimpse at a rampaging battle sequence, viewers see several characters running toward the camera, and the center frame reveals Tracer, a hero from Blizzard's award-winning multiplayer title Overwatch. To the right of her is none other than Street Fighter's Chun-Li, and fans of either of those bestselling multiplayer franchises know better than to get on their bad side, virtual world or otherwise.


One callback in the new trailer that requires no freeze-framing at all to find is the inclusion of the massive Gundam. Sunrise's beloved mech series lends itself perfectly for the chaotic warfare of Ready Player One's action sequences, and the franchise's millions of global fans will definitely be frothing at the mouth to see it kick ass on the big screen.

Wrath of Chucky

The film's first footage revealed Nightmare on Elm Street's beloved nightmare architect Freddy Krueger right before he was blasted into a million pixels, and the new trailer shows off yet another horror film mainstay.

That's right, Chucky himself is seen very briefly at the 2:14 mark eviscerating a member of the antagonist's IOI robot army, pulling off an attack that is well beyond simple Child's Play.

These are just a few of the references that are contained within the upcoming pop culture spectacle, so did you happen to catch any that weren't mentioned above? Let us know which ones you found in the comments!

Set to blast its way into theaters on March 30, 2018, Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg.

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