‘Ready Player One’: The Easter Eggs Even the Writer Couldn’t Find

Chris Tilly

Ready Player One has wall-to-wall movie, TV and games references, most of them from the 1980s. And Ernest Cline — who wrote the book and co-wrote the script — either came up with or oversaw the majority of them. With a few of our favourites here…

But according to Cline, there are a few Easter Eggs that were slipped in without his knowledge. With one even added under the nose of director Steven Spielberg.

The Rogue Gremlin


Ernest Cline: “I know that there are Easter Eggs that I’m not even aware of. We had two of the best special effects houses in the world; ILM doing the OASIS and then Digital Domain doing the real world. And both of them hid Easter Eggs without even asking.

“Steven told the audience at SXSW that he was doing his final run-through of the movie and spotted a Gremlin that somebody had hid in there without even asking or telling him. And by then it was too late to take out. There was a lot of that.”

Highlander, RoboCop and *batteries not included

*batteries not included.

Cline: “The race scene through New York is filled with Easter Eggs and other films that were shot in New York. Adam Stockhausen — our amazing production designer who works with Wes Anderson a lot — he and I had talked a lot about warping the landscape of New York so you could have things that are very far apart in the city mashed together. Because the city rearranges itself before the race.

“So in the background — when the Blu-ray comes out this summer and you’ll be able to watch frame-by-frame — you’ll be able to spot all kinds of references, to Highlander and Last Action Hero and RoboCop and other things hidden in the background of the race. Things that I’m sure I haven’t even spotted.”

Cline added: “I think there might be a reference that I stuck in there to *batteries not included — the tenement building — but I don’t know. I haven’t had a chance to look for it yet.”

Ready Player One hits UK screens on March 28, and Australian and US screens on March 29.

Chris Tilly
FANDOM Managing Editor in the UK. At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.
Become a
Pop culture fans! Write what you love and have your work seen by millions.