Easter Eggs In Film You May Have Missed

Lovers of film will be well aware that cinema is a treasure trove of 'Easter Eggs' - knowing nods and cryptic secrets, hidden in plain sight onscreen.

For years now, directors have been placing canny references, in-jokes and visual gags into their films. And few things energise film fans more than decoding the meaning behind these movie messages.

We asked one of our film experts to hatch some of their favourites and assemble an eggs-travaganza for you to enjoy.


Our eggs-pert tips are from our Film Booker, Niall.

He's worked for ODEON for 12 years, and loves thrillers, teen comedies and anime.

Favourite film: Spirited Away (2001)

Here's his pick of the best easter eggs in film you may have missed...


Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

A Big Green surprise...

By virtue of its immense, interconnected narrative of over 20 blockbusting films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is scattered with hidden easter eggs and cross-references.

But one of the more subtle secrets is found in Tom Holland's first outing as Peter Parker, in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Where's the easter egg?

Blink and you'll miss, but a certain identity-challenged scientist known for his work in gamma radiation makes an uncredited appearance.

Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner - aka Hulk - can be seen pictured along with other famous scientists in Peter Parker’s class during a scene.


Back To The Future (1985)

“Make like a tree and get outta here!”

Unfortunately Biff’s request to Marty McFly in Back To The Future became reality for one of Hill Valley's beloved pine trees.

But typically for an era-hopping film that could be a continuity minefield, director Robert Zemeckis twisted this small detail into an ingeniously subtle hat tip to the audience.

Where's the easter egg?

In the beginning of the film Marty meets Doc Brown at Twin Pines Mall in 1985. But when he returns to 1985 at the end the mall has been renamed.

This is because when Marty first arrives in 1955, he accidentally knocks down a pine tree with the DeLorean when frantically escaping the Peabody Farm.

Hence why the mall is later known as Lone Pine Mall.


Doctor Strange (2016)

Time and time again...

Time is perhaps the major theme in Marvel's Doctor Strange, along with sorcery and sparkly shields.

But there's one very fine detail in the origin story of the Sorcerer Supreme which really gets our minds ticking.

Where's the easter egg?

In the opening credits, we discover that celebrated-but-conceited surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange has his fateful car accident on February 2, aka Groundhog Day.

Lovers of film will be all too aware of the Bill Murray masterpiece of the same name, in which he has to live and relive the same day over and over again.

It's nothing short of a Marvel masterstroke that this connects to the climactic battle between Strange and Dormammu - which of course, we're not about to spoil...

 


Scream (1997)

One... two... Freddy’s mopping for you...

For a film that is basically a love letter to slasher horrors, Scream is predictably packed full of on-the-nose references to the genre thought consigned to the schlocky-horror bin.

Where's the easter egg?

Our favourite is less subtle than the rest, and sees the film’s director Wes Craven making a hilarious cameo.

Henry Winkler's paranoiac high school Principal senses danger and scans the hallways for the murderous Ghostface.

But his search leads him only to High School janitor Fred, played by Craven, cheaply costumed for Halloween as horror icon Freddy Krueger, who first appeared in Craven's earlier film A Nightmare On Elm Street.


The Greatest Showman (2017)

'A cut above' easter egg...

Hugh Jackman hanging up his claws and X-Man suit for The Greatest Showman might've seemed a risk.

But given the blockbusting success of the feel-good extravaganza, donning the top hat and cane as P.T. Barnum was another unbridled masterstroke in the Australian actor's career.

Where's the easter egg?

This didn’t stop his inimitable mutant alter-ego Wolverine making a cryptic cameo in the hit musical's credits.

Wolverine’s arms and claws with an easter egg head can be found on Executive Producer James Mangold’s title card, who directed Jackman in both The Wolverine and Logan.

Can you see it?


STAR WARS: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999)

Putting the ‘extra’ in extra-terrestrial...

When E.T. phoned home, who could've imagined his call was answered a long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away…

George Lucas did exactly that in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

Where's the easter egg?

The galactic senate is in uproar when Queen Amidala motions a vote-of-no-confidence in the presiding Chancellor. As the camera pans around the chamber we spot a trio of beings that look a lot like Steven Spielberg’s iconic extra-terrestrial.

Lucas was actually honouring a promise he had made to Spielberg, who dropped multiple references to Star Wars in his 1982 classic, including trick-or-treaters dressed as Yoda and Boba Fett.

Thus, the Asogian race was given an intelligent place in Star Wars lore.


FROZEN (2013)

A celebrity turnout on Elsa’s coronation day

It’s Elsa’s coronation and for the first time in forever to Anna's delight, they’re opening up the gates, there’ll be actual, real, live people turning up from far and wide to celebrate.

They're even crossing the boundary from one much-loved Disney animation into another.

Where's the easter egg?

We guarantee, if you blink you'll miss this one.

As Anna bounds out of the castle and into the crowds arriving to celebrate the occasion, she passes a multitude of well-wishers.

But what appears to be an unassuming couple is actually Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled.

Must try harder, Disney.


TOY STORY 4 (2019)

A close call...

Since the first Toy Story in 1995, Pixar have delivered not just a masterclass in animation, but a collected work of filmmaking genius.

But a little-known mishap could have compromised it all, and Toy Story 4 drops in a supremely subtle reminder for the switched-on viewer.

Where's the easter egg?

Bo Beep and Woody's separation as she is donated to a new owner is a scene notable for a small but calculated detail by the filmmakers.

The licence plate on the car that collects the donated toys is 'RMR F97'. In an infamous event during the making of Toy Story 2, this code was typed and led to the entire film being deleted!

No doubt collective hearts were in mouths at Pixar when this happened. Fortunately, for the benefit of cinema history, a backup was kept by the Technical Director and the film was restored!


SHAZAM! (2019)

Conjuring A Superhero...

Linked by actors, directors, VFX artists, and production companies - it’s little wonder that characters are even crossing the fictional veil between the DC Universe and The Conjuring Universe.

But there's one eerie and consistent connection that the filmmakers play on which stands out more than most.

Where's the easter egg?

In a knowing nod to fans of both franchises, the opening scene from Shazam! sees two police officers investigating a faux pawn shop robbery, falsely reported by Billy.

As the camera follows them through the pawn shop, we can distinctly see an Annabelle doll perched on the shelves.

Creepily, this isn’t the first time the possessed puppet has popped up in the DCU - she was also seen stalking the sea in Aquaman.


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