Hurrah, it's Easter! This coming Sunday, we'll all (hopefully) be up to our necks in chocolate Easter eggs. But did you know that in the world of movies, there's another kind of easter egg?
Urban Dictionary defines one as "a hidden item placed in a movie, television show, or otherwise visual media for close watchers". Directors love to drop them in for eagle-eyed viewers to spot, and you’ll be amazed how many are in some of the movies you love. Here are 9 of our favourites…
1) The Incredible Hulk (2008)
At the beginning of the Edward Norton-headlining blockbuster, watch closely when Bruce Banner is looking through the TV channels. At one point he flicks past an episode of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father – a sitcom featuring Bill Bixby, who played the role of the Hulk’s human alter ego in the 1970s TV show.
2) Jurassic World (2015)
Although only one actor from the first Jurassic Park appeared in the 2015 series reboot (that’s BD Wong as Dr Henry Wu), it’s clear that director Colin Trevorrow was a massive fan of the original. There are many nods to the first film in there, but how many of you noticed that Jeff Goldblum’s character, Ian Malcolm, gets a subtle shout-out. Look closely on the desk of dino geek Lowery (Jake Johnson) and you'll see a copy of a book titled God Creates Dinosaurs, written by none-other than everyone’s favourite gangly mathematician, Ian Malcolm.
3) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Remember that George Lucas was the producer on the Indiana Jones movies (but no more, it seems) and that he and director Steven Spielberg are the bestest of pals. So it kind of makes sense that Spielberg would sneak in a sly reference to his mate’s other Harrison Ford-headlining movie series. Look behind Indy in the Well of Souls scene and you’ll see some hieroglyphics, among them the figures of C-3PO and R2-D2.
4) The Departed (2006)
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
There are a lot of deaths in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-guzzling crime drama, but did you know that the veteran director laid clues to each character’s fate in the movie? Look closely and you’ll spot that there’s a visible ‘X’ somewhere in shot just before a character dies.
5) Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Returning the compliment of Spielberg sneaking in a Star Wars reference in Raiders of the Lost Ark, George Lucas dropped a subtle nod to his friend’s most famous movie in one of the Senate scenes in Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Yes, three members of ET’s race can be seen in the Senate chamber, suggesting that the Star Wars films and ET: The Extra-Terrestrial are all part of the same fictional universe.
6) Tron (1982)
There's a teeny-weeny cameo from one of the 1980s most iconic games characters in this cult sci-fi action movie. As Sark (David Warner) looks on his viewscreen, you can see a small Pac-man ready to gobble up everything in front of him. Of course, Pac-man was only two years old at this point and hadn’t yet achieved worldwide fame, so it went over the heads of most audiences in 1982.
7) Fight Club (1999)
David Fincher’s testosterone-drenched drama is a savage satire on consumerism, and, to hammer home the point, he has a Starbucks cup in every shot. Although it’s meant to be an attack on how consumerism has taken over our lives, the coffee giant certainly benefitted from the subliminal advertising.
8) Toy Story (1995)
You wouldn’t think that a family-friendly series like the Toy Story films would be so chock with references to one of the most chilling horror movies ever, would you? But Pixar’s CG trilogy seems to have a deep love for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, sneaking in references from the carpet in Sid’s house (which is exactly the same pattern as the one in the Overlook Hotel in The Shining), to a security camera with the model number "OVERLOOK R237" (room 237 was the place in The Shining that Jack Nicholson’s character has one of his most terrifying encounters).
9) Spider-Man (2002)
Petrol-heads might have noticed that a certain vintage car made cameo appearances in all three of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies. The 1973-model Delta 88 seems to be a favourite of director Sam Raimi, as the same automobile has made an appearance in just about all of his movies, including The Evil Dead trilogy, Darkman, A Simple Plan, The Gift and Drag Me To Hell.
What are the mind-blowing Easter eggs you've spotted in your favourite movies? We want to hear your suggestions! Drop us a tweet @Cineworld – and happy Easter!