This summer, Godzilla: King of the Monsters reunites some of the most iconic creatures of the MonsterVerse, including Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah.
But amid this sprawling story of towering Titans, director Michael Dougherty has cleverly worked in references to other memorable movie monsters and one cantankerous yet charismatic mad-scientist. In the summer of 2017, Nerdist visited the set of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and uncovered Easter eggs alluding to Jaws, The Thing, and Rick And Morty!
The first allusion came in the plot description. Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) is a Monarch scientist at work on a device that would allow humans to communicate with the Titans. The device is called ORCA, which is the name of the boat that brought Quint, Hooper and Brody up close and personal to the great white shark in Jaws!
The second was subtler. As reporters were given a golf-carted tour around the sprawling sets, we zipped past a field of seemingly freshly fallen snow punctured by a military base entrance that read “Outpost 32.” Could that be a reference to John Carpenter’s The Thing, where R.J. MacReady and crew were stalked by a shape-shifting predator in Outpost 31?
When Nerdist sat down for an interview with Dougherty, he confirmed both Easter Eggs, adding, “Outpost 32 is a total nod to The Thing. The Thing is one of my all-time favorite movies. I liked the idea that once Outpost 31 burned to the ground, they had to build another one. So who knows?”
Does that mean the MonsterVerse includes The Thing‘s killer critter? These properties are owned by different studios, so not officially. But feel free to add this to your head-canon that Godzilla could come across extraterrestrial parasite. I know I am.
The final Easter Egg was one that Dougherty seemed shocked we picked out: Get Out‘s Bradley Whitford plays an on-point homage to misanthropic genius Rick Sanchez! Whitford and his free-standing silver hair play Dr. Rick Stanton, a salty scientist who is undeniably brilliant but unbelievably brutal on his colleagues. In a big ensemble scene, we watched him scold a room full of scientists and soldiers for their naiveté about the dangers of these titans, practically spitting about how a newfound larva will grow “bigger and meaner.” When I presented my theory with the similarities: the hair, the attitude, first name, the initials, Dougherty confessed with a grin, “He drinks a lot too!”
And Doughtery assures there are more nods where this came from. So keep an eye out!
What other Easter Eggs are hidden within Godzilla: King of the Monsters? We’ll find out when this much-anticipated sequel hits theaters May 31.
For more Godzilla, check out our interview with O’Shea Jackson Jr., as well as a look at how this movie compares with the 2014 film.
Images: Adults Swim; Warner Bros; Legendary
Editor’s note: Nerdist is a wholly owned subsidiary of Legendary Digital Networks