The whole point of making a sequel is to market it towards audiences who enjoyed the original and want to see more. Franchises are naturally attractive to producers for this reason, since they can pump out multiple instalments and minimise their investment risk. This obviously doesn’t work so well if they don’t mention it’s a sequel, or that it’s even tied to another movie.
Still, some filmmakers like to have fun and add links to other films, often burying them for fans to seek out. It can be as subtle as mentioning an event in passing, or having an actor briefly reprise their character from another movie.
A lot of popular movies are linked in this way, and even a gory low-budget horror movie can have ties to a glossy blockbuster. Finding these subtle links is often the fun bit, and rewarding for the dedicated easter egg hunters out there.
Here are some of the best examples of movies that are linked together in unusual ways, and how exactly they mesh together.
11. Jaws / Piranha 3D
Since the original Piranha was a tongue in cheek riff on Jaws, it made sense for the remake to doff its cap to Spielberg’s masterpiece too. Piranha 3D appeared to go above and beyond the call of duty by roping in Richard Dreyfess for a cameo, and dressing him in suspiciously similar garb to Matt Hooper from Jaws.
While the character is dubbed Matt Boyd in the credits, both Dreyfuss and director Alexander Aja have made no secret the character is reallty Hooper. He even sings “Show Me The Way To Go Home”, and there’s the obvious meta gag of him surviving the shark but getting eaten by the piranha. Dreyfuss also made no secret of the fact it was the rather large cheque he was offered that convinced him to return to the character.
Aja also planned for Joe Dante and James Cameron – the directors of Piranha and Piranha 2 respectively – to appear during the massacre scene as fishermen pulling people out of the water, but their schedules didn’t work out.