The new trailer for Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming film Ready Player One offers a much broader look into the film than the first trailer. Based on the bestselling book by Ernest Cline, this movie may not have all the same pop culture references as the original text, but it’s definitely packed with all sorts of nods to science fiction, video games, classic geek movies and much more.
First, for those who aren’t familiar with the source material, Ready Player One is the story of Wade Watts (played by Tye Sheridan), a young man who spends all his time in a virtual reality universe called The Oasis. This is a place where people can escape their lives in the dystopian world outside it, and be exactly who they want to be. Even better, after the death of its creator, James Haliday (Mark Rylance), everyone in the Oasis has a chance to rule it, and collect Haliday’s fortune. All they need to do is find an Easter egg Haliday hid inside the vast virtual domain before he died.
Of course, finding said Easter egg is a lot harder than searching in Mom’s backyard. Wade, who goes by Parzival in the Oasis, has dedicated his life to finding Haliday’s egg—just like a hundreds, or thousands of other Gunters (egg hunters) who are all vying for the same thing. As Wade and a few close allies search, his life gets a lot more interesting, and a lot more dangerous thanks to IOI, the massive corporation that has dedicated huge amounts of resources and manpower to beat anyone else to the egg. They’ll even kill in real life, if necessary.
Because Haliday was an ardent fan of 1980s pop culture, Gunters must know everything they can about the era, and their knowledge is tested in a variety of related challenges. With this, like the book, comes a slew of callbacks to great 1980s films, music, games and more. Just in this new trailer we see a panoply of characters and objects from the era. There’s also a bunch of contemporary shoutouts to modern geek culture.
See if you can find these Easter eggs in the trailer: DC Comics’ the Joker and Harley Quinn, Conan the Barbarian, Garbage Pail Kids, Tracer from Overwatch, the Back to the Future DeLorean, the 1966 Batmobile, The Iron Giant‘s titular robot, the A-Team van, Tomb Raider‘s Lara Croft, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat characters, Diz Wallin from Gears of War, the motorcycle from classic anime Akira, Hello Kitty (this is a quick one in the form of a sticker), Mad Max’s car from Road Warrior, the car from Stephen King’s Christine, the Thundercats logo, Chucky from Child’s Play and so, so much more. There’s even a quick appearance by the obscure Battle Toads!
Another sneaky addition is their inclusion of the demon or Pan face surrounding a hole leading to death from the Tomb of Horrors Dungeons & Dragons module adventure, which plays a big part in the book. It’s on the back of what looks like Wade’s friend Aech’s truck at 1:48 in the trailer.
Clearly, Spielberg and his team are modeling their film after the story and hiding a ton of Easter eggs, hidden codes and other discoverable things to bring fans into their own adventure. Just in this short trailer, there’s at least one functional QR codes and a bunch of letters that make ARG code—a secret language computer coders can use to open special messages, websites and images online. Perhaps they’re even giving something away. It will likely be quite a while before we have an answer to this supposition.
In the meantime, watch the trailer and see what you can find. We’ve likely just scratched the surface of what’s contained within!