6 Secret Movie Crossovers (Revealed Through Props)
Movie crossovers have become so synonymous with blockbuster films that when you don't see Dan Akroyd coming to kill Casper or Chris Pratt showing up to hug Thor, you get disappointed.
But cinema crossovers have been the norm basically since the movie industry existed. And since the film industry has existed, crossovers have hinted at a vast, unified film reality. But it can get weirder than that because Morgan Freeman's handsome face isn't the only connective tissue between movies.
Sometimes the worlds are united by the simplest of things, like the props that assemble them ...
Cruella Was Kind Of In The Rescuers
When it comes to being cruel, who does it better than the woman whose last name is Devil? Well, Madame Medusa.
Madame Medusa is the less well-known but much worse villain of The Rescuers. In that film, she abducts a child and forces her to go spelunking for some diamonds. Instead of two bumbling idiots, Medusa has two bumbling crocodiles and ... Cruella De Ville's car.
Because, originally, the two characters were one and the same -- Cruella was going to be basically the Thanos of young children's nightmares. Maybe sensing the potential to later redevelop Cruella into a fierce feminist powerfilm, the Disney execs changed Cruella into the much more awfully named Madame Medusa, but they didn't change everything; for instance, her car stayed the same.
Yes, MM and CD have the same car, which, while the current explanation makes sense, does seem to hint at the idea of a connection between the two. Did Cruella sell the car after losing her fortune trying to kill whatever puppy she could find? Did Cruella buy it from Medusa after MM lost her mind trying to kill rodents?
Well, given that Cruella has already had a sequel greenlit, maybe we'll find out someday. We already found out Cruella and Malificent's tragic backstory; maybe we'll find out that mice ate Medusa's science project. What about Snow White's stepmother? Mother Goethel? Ursula's torrid affair with the King will be the subject of her flick. Yzma will get a glorious retelling in the Disney Girlboss Universe (DGU).
The films will culminate with them joining together to take on, hmmm … How about Gaston, who's trying to remove women's right to vote? That's when they'll reveal that Cruella and Medusa's car is also Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang.
The Matrix And The Dark City
The Matrix is a dark, interesting thriller about how much a movie can be misinterpreted by its audience. Dark City is a less well-known movie about how aliens are cool, and Rufus Sewell cannot be seen as sympathetic no matter how well he acts.
Both films take place in the same neo-trash, dark cities. And by same, we do mean the literal same.
See, what Hollywood likes more than anything is not having to pay for more crew than needed; why hire someone to make a set when you've got a perfectly good one lying around in storage? So when the Wachowski Sisters were looking to make their sci-fi rip-off of a crazy Scot's comic, they went ahead and reused some of the Dark City sets..
Now, unfortunately, both Dark City and The Matrix, in addition to being set in the same city, have similar themes -- a man in a city alone searching for answers, discovering the truth is darker and more horrible than he could possibly have believed. In one, it's aliens; in the other, his body is in a jar being fed liquefied dead people, while giant robots try and eat his energy (because the original concept was supposedly worse).
Is the alien stuff all a cover for the dark truth behind the city? Are the aliens just what Agent Smith does on his days off? Is this another one of the Machine cities, but with a built-in backup story for why shit's all messed up, so no one realizes? Are both films secretly set within the Thirteenth Floor?
Either way, when you see Trinity running over rooftops, spare a glance for Rufus Sewell hunting down aliens below. God, The Matrix would've been so much better if after Neo said he knew Kung Fu, Morpheus went "Now for telekinesis."
The Star Wars Cinematic Universe
Marvel is the big blockbusting megachurch of cinema these days, owing all of it to seven little words: "You've become part of a bigger universe." From the somewhat innocent days of Tony Stark beating up capitalists, we got Wanda rewriting reality and whatever the hell is going on with Loki. But Star Wars did it first. Even the incest!
See, Star Wars was a relatively small, almost indie project by a guy most famous for having teenagers hang out at a carhop. It wasn't a movie by James Cameron or Marvel -- it was small, but it had huge eyes and a budget it could not burn through. So it went thrifting and, in the process, created a mini star-universe.
For instance, the Cantina scene -- well, you've definitely forgotten what happens, so give it a watch.
Ah, cinema history. Can we take a moment and just remember how wild it is that a blockbuster juggernaut that changed how cinema works forever had, in one of its earliest scenes, a bunch of weird prolapsed vagina mouthed monsters playing jizz music?
Featured in that scene are dozens of props from across the sci-fi universe. You can see an alien in the back wearing a spacesuit from Escape from Planet of the Apes.
An outfit featured in that scene but later given to one of the bounty hunters of Empire Strikes Back is straight from Doctor Who:
You know the man whose hand Obi-Wan cuts off? Well, before that he's talking to a human astronaut.
The box that Skywalker's saber is from would later provide the means to defeat another alien -- Kryptonians.
But even ground-locked heroes get in on it too. The Speeder scene from A New Hope? Well, Alec Guinness wasn't there for that, so instead, we got the Six Million Dollar Man ... toys. Yeah, that thing in the vehicle is just a Lee Majors doll with a brown robe thrown on top.
Long before the Avengers circled up, every star in the universe assembled in the Cantina.
Well, except for the Starship Troopers. They were busy.
We Are All Starship Troopers
Starship Troopers is the exciting story of how when a terrorist attacks you, you and all your friends should go to their desert planet and kill everyone you can possibly find and bang each other in the body parts. While not being a terribly good film except for ultra-nerds (and ultra-clueless fascists), Starship Troopers did have one lasting effect on the cinema landscape, and that's its armor.
It turns out that while Starship Troopers' story and message might've gotten a bit muddled, the armor itself was a clear shining victory. You can see it everywhere. It turns out that the Alliance Armor in Firefly is the same as Starship Troopers' armor -- fittingly enough, as both are about totalitarian, originally Earth-based fascists groups spreading out amongst the stars and killing everyone they find. Maybe the reason there are no aliens in Firefly is that the Federation killed all of them first.
It's also in Power Rangers. Yes, turns out that while the Federation is supplying the Alliance with armor, it's also helping with the TVA-esque Time Force in Power Rangers.
But Earth isn't safe from the Trooper's armor either. In an alternate universe, it's the armor that the Apes wear after Cornelius takes over the entire planet and reinstates himself as the man who ended slavery which, honestly, does track).
Imposter, a film that absolutely no one has ever seen, also features them. Minority Report even uses them, which does seem to hint that it's a prequel to Imposter, which makes it worse, so let's forget that too.
The Federation's helmets and armor appear across the cosmos.
Perhaps most surprisingly the armor appears in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. An Adam Sandler film isn't where you'd expect to find the prequel to Starship Troopers, but shortly after their gay marriage, a giant space bug launches an asteroid at Earth (probably?).
For a fascist organization, it does make sense that everything eventually solidifies and becomes theirs -- although it is a bit depressing to think that the group that the Power Rangers belong to also is responsible for the extinction of an entire planet.
Face/Off's Goomba Shoes
Super Mario Bros. is, without a doubt, one of the worst movies ever made. It has a few nods towards Mario Bros. without any of the soul, and it has the sludge and goo of every teen boy's bedroom. It's a horrible nightmare of a film, a black hole from which all light ceases.
But while nothing seems to have made it out of the Mushroom Kingdom unscathed, including Bob Hoskins, one thing managed to slip through the rift -- the Goombas' shoes.
Yes, the shoes that the Goombas in the film wear -- those horrible iron-fisted boots -- appear again in the real world. If you go check out the Academy Award-winning film Face/Off, you can see that while most of the Mushroom Kingdom was gone ... the shoes survived.
Granted, the Super Mario Bros. film does end with Daisy returning to New York, with the implication that not everything is cheery in the Mushroom Kingdom and that darkness has once again raised his -- most likely horned, fireball breathing -- head.
Does this mean that the never-seen sequel to Super Mario Bros. occurred? Did King Koopa come out victorious and take over the private prison system, recreating it in his own dark designs? Well, it'd be better than what we have now.
It would also explain the ease with which they do the Face/Off procedure. The film isn't very heavily sci-fi, but the transplant operation is done perfectly. Just like the shifting that Koopa can do from form to form. Is this Mushroom Kingdom tech allowing Nicolas Cage to perfectly become John Travolta? Is there a third film waiting to be made where Bob Hoskins and Johnny T team up to kill serial killers, criminals, and Koopas?
Robby The Robot - The Prop Actor
Robby the Robot came from Forbidden Planet, a film that, provided you've heard of it before, it's most likely just because you binged MST3K. The pseudo-Tempest in space story features a well-meaning, if somewhat sarcastic, robot named Robby, who helps the heroes throughout the film.
And that was all that was heard from him. Or it would be except that, unlike most of the other things in Forbidden Planet, Robby was great. Great as a concept and even better as a prop.
He appeared in The Thin Man, multiple episodes of the Twilight Zone, the Man from U.N.C.L.E, Lost in Space (where he fought the other robot, natch), Columbo, The Love Boat, Addams Family, The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, Mork and Mindy, Heavy Metal (despite it being a full cartoon), Gremlins, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and even Battle Angel Alita (the manga, not the movie you forgot until just now).
His overlap in all of these things points to a grand unifying vision of television. Of all the items listed here, Robby is the only one to have his own IMDB page. When he was auctioned off, he sold for over five million dollars. That's more money than most actors will make in their life. He has a full documentary, a feat most Oscar winners can't manage to get.
St. Elsewhere take a seat, MCU; you've had your go. It's time for the Robby the Robot expanded universe.
Top Image: Lucasfilm