I take it you've watched the Ready Player One trailer by now, and if so, you've already gotten a sense for how nostalgia-filled and heavy on pop culture references the movie will be - after all, that's kind of the whole point of the book. But we're not here to talk plot. We're here to go frame-by-frame through this thing and see all the references we can spot. Ready, player one? Let's start by rewatching and then breaking it down.
You might think this doesn't count since it's so obvious, but there's a deeper meaning to this revamped version of Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Obviously, the world of Oasis is a world of pure imagination, but the story itself, centered on an eccentric genius who has decided to pass his fortune on to the next generation, also mirrors the tale of Wonka quite well. Plus, hero Wade Watts has the same initials: W.W.
See, it's got layers!
Harley Quinn and Deathstroke
Hello, puddin'! They're a bit tough to make out, but that is most certainly Harley Quinn and Deathstroke from DC Comics on the left of the screen there. The pigtails and swords give it away.
The Iron Giant
Kinda hard to miss that guy.
Back to the Future DeLorean
We'll get a better look at it later, but this is our first glimpse of the DeLorean from the Back to the Future movies. Remember, if you're going to time travel, you need to hit 88mph in that thing.
Centipede vs Joust
The graphics look... a little different, but this is almost certainly a scorpion from the game Centipede battling a horde of ostrich riders from the game Joust.
Freddy Krueger, Duke Nukem, and Halo
Here's a three-fer: Over on the far right we have the unmistakable silhouette of Freddy Krueger, the slasher from Nightmare on Elm Street. Further in the background, we see Duke Nukem firing a rocket at the big brute in the center of the frame. And speaking of said brute, look what's in his hand: an Assault Rifle from Halo.
Christine and The A-Team
While most of these cars are generic, if you look far to the right you can see Christine, the possessed car from the Stephen King story of the same name. And behind her is the A-Team van. Remember, if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them... maybe you can hire The A-Team.
Again, this might seem like just another catchy music choice, but in Ready Player One (the novel at least), RUSH was OASIS creator James Halliday’s favorite band. Nicely done, WB marketing department.
Kaneda's bike from Akira
At first blush you'd be forgiven for thinking this was a light cycle from Tron - but nope, it's actually Kaneda's bike from the anime classic, Akira.
Back to the Future Part 2
Told you there'd be another, better shot of the DeLorean in action.
And that's everything! See anything we missed? Let us know in the comments.