All the pop culture references in the Ready Player One SDCC trailer

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Lucas Siegel
Jul 22, 2017

The trailer for Ready Player One hit to kick off the Warner Bros. panel Saturday morning at San Diego Comic-Con, and much like the book, it's chock full of pop culture references. Video games, sci-fi classics, horror, family fantasy and even DC Comics, it seems like virtually nothing is off-limits.

Check out the trailer again right here, then scroll down to see what bits you might've missed. Oh man, the Easter Eggs and References post for this full movie is going to be 12 pages long, isn't it?

Ready Player One is in theaters March 30, 2018.

Harley Quinn and Deathstroke

This pair walking by our star when he first enters the virtual world of Oasis are easy to recognize for DC Comics fans. That's Harley Quinn and Deathstroke the Terminator, specifically in character models used in the Batman: Arkham video games. WB giving themselves a nice little nod on that one.

Iron Giant

In 1999, a pre-Pixar Brad Bird directed a phenomenal animated film called The Iron Giant. The movie, starring Vin Diesel as the voice of the towering robot that wanted to be a little boy's hero, has stayed a fan favorite for two decades. Steven Spielberg promised the Iron Giant will have a ... ahem ... large role in this film.

Shall we Joust?

Yes, those ostriches and their riders are from the classic arcade game Joust. It's a bit of an obscure reference for modern audiences but shows the movie won't shy away from featuring the classics. One of them even magically turns into an egg when killed. Hilarious!

Freddy Krueger

Who's that getting fragged in the big firefight? A nightmare of a character, the knife-fingered Freddy Krueger gets taken out pretty quickly. Guess this is his nightmare, huh?

Duke Nukem

Rocking his signature jeans and tank top, this guy's here to chew bubble gum and fire rockets ... and he's all out of bubble gum. He's also probably all out of rockets after this shot - it's not like those are typically semi-automatic weapons. Another video game character, that's Duke Nukem, one of the original first-person shooter characters!

Halo, there.

If you're heading into a cross-property sci-fi video game mega battle, might as well take one of the trustiest weapons around with you. That's the MA5D rifle from Halo 4 and Halo 5 right there, and while it doesn't pack the punch you'd hope a sci-fi rifle would, it's reliable and easy to use.

Four-in-One

The race scene at the end of the trailer is quite the ... Rush (that's a joke about the band that's playing during it, children). It's also packed with references, including the FOUR in this image. Yes, that's Master Chief from Halo, talking to Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, who's leaning on Christine the killer Plymouth from Stephen King's novel, all in front of the van from A-Team. Seriously, when this full movie comes out we'll have to watch it thirty times to catch half the references.

TESTSUUUOOOOOOO!

Kaneda's motorcycle from Akira is another contestant in the race, and if you didn't recognize it at first glance, the close-up on the Atari logo on the front followed by the signature slide should have tipped you off. Warner Bros. has a long-in-development live-action version of the anime classic still in development.

We have to go back, Marty.

Okay, we're just about OUTATIME here, but there's one more of note, and that's the famous time machine from the Back to the Future series in the form of a DeLorean. We see it a few times in the trailer in various configurations, including here where it lands from its Back to the Future Part II flying mode into a speedy land-based car. Maybe they should just hit 88 mph and jump to the end of the race?