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18 Easter Eggs And BTS Facts From Steven Spielberg's Films

BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed
 2022-06-24

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Steven Spielberg has had a long and prolific career as a filmmaker, so he has plenty of interesting tales beyond what he's shown on the silver screen.

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Many noteworthy things can be heard about how Spielberg created his films and the troubles he faced during production. In recognition of this director's massive impact on the world of cinema, here are 18 hidden details and behind-the-scenes facts about Spielberg's films.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

18. Spielberg hated the Jaws theme song.

17. These are not the droids you are looking for.

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Given that George Lucas created Star Wars , it's understandable that he'd put a little Easter egg into another one of his iconic franchises. In Raiders of the Lost Ark , when Indy and Sallah are removing the lid of the Ark's sarcophagus, we can see some hieroglyphics of C-3PO and R2-D2 in the background. Star Wars did happen a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, so maybe these two droids once spent some time on Earth.

Paramount / Via YouTube

16. A shining tribute

15. Star Wars in Saving Private Ryan

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You may have forgotten that Ted Danson starred in Saving Private Ryan , but you won't forget this fun fact about his character, Captain Fred Hamill. His name is a reference to actor Mark Hamill, who's famous for playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars . But this isn't this film's only nod to this groundbreaking franchise. At one point, Ed Burns' Private Reiben says, "I don't have a good feeling about this one," which references Han Solo's iconic catchphrase.

DreamWorks / Via YouTube

14. Nedry watching Jaws

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Ever since the backlash he received for spoofing Jaws and Duel in his film 1941 , Spielberg has abstained from referencing his own filmography in his films. However, he still sneaks in some Easter eggs every now and then. One of them occurs in Jurassic Park , where we see Dennis Nedry watching Jaws on his computer instead of doing his work.

Universal / Via YouTube

13. Captain Hook's hat

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Captain Hook is known for his fear of the crocodile that ate his hand, but in Spielberg's "sequel" film to Peter Pan, the evil pirate is finally killed by the croc's taxidermied corpse after it collapses on him. In Hook , the titular villain wears a hat resembling a crocodile's mouth, likely foreshadowing his ironic fate at the end of the film.

TriStar Pictures / Via YouTube

12. Rexy in the Rain

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If you thought the shark from Jaws was hard to work with, let me introduce you to Spielberg's good pal, Rexy. While filming the iconic padlock scene in Jurassic Park , the animatronic T-Rex malfunctioned after its foam rubber exterior absorbed so much water, requiring the crew to dry the beast in between takes. The damage to the dino's hydraulics was so bad that it began to move on its own. Imagine sitting around on that set and seeing a fake T-Rex come to life.

Universal / Via YouTube

11. Shooting stars

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In two different shots during the nighttime boat attack in Jaws , you can see a shooting star fly through the night sky. Many people have speculated whether one of these stars, if not both of them, were real or not. But ever since then, Spielberg made shooting stars a trademark of his, as he has included them in films like Close Encounters and The Temple of Doom .

Universal / Via YouTube

10. A failure to communicate

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During one scene in Saving Private Ryan , a couple of enemy soldiers surrender to the Americans, who shoot them dead after failing to understand them. While they and the audience assume these men were Germans, what they said translates to, "Please don't shoot me! I am not German! I am Czech! I didn't kill anyone! I am Czech!" Historians will tell you that men taken prisoner by the Nazis were forced to enlist in the German army, with many of them being Czech and Polish.

DreamWorks / Via YouTube

9. Fasten your seatbelts

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In Jurassic Park , all the dinosaurs were made female to prevent them from breeding. However, it is revealed later in the film that their frog DNA allowed them to change sexes and breed with each other. The movie actually foreshadows this twist before the group even arrives at the park. When the helicopter carrying the scientists descends on Isla Nublar, Dr. Grant is forced to tie two female seatbelts together, similar to how the dinosaurs found a way to mate despite being female.

Universal / Via YouTube

8. Close encounters of the ape kind

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During the production of Close Encounters , Spielberg wanted to make the film's aliens move like otherworldly creatures. What was his solution? To have an orangutan in a spandex suit and roller skates portray the alien. However, the crew had trouble controlling their primate actor while filming, so the idea was scrapped. While this would've made for a terrible ending, it would've definitely been a hilarious prequel for The Wolf of Wall Street .

Columbia Pictures / Via YouTube

7. The legacy of Night Skies

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Spielberg once planned to make a horror sequel to Close Encounters titled Night Skies , but he had planned to make it more like a ghost story than a sci-fi film. The script had a group of alien scientists kidnapping and experimenting on farm animals, with one alien befriending a young human boy. This film was eventually abandoned, but many elements of it were later used in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Poltergeist, so in a way, we got two sequels.

MGM / Via YouTube

6. Spielberg didn't accept pay for Schindler's List.

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Schindler's List is one of Spielberg's most successful films, both critically and commercially. Nevertheless, the director refused any salary for his work, as he didn't want any "blood money" made off of the horrors of the Holocaust. The film did make over $320 million in theaters, but Spielberg took his box office earnings and donated them to multiple Jewish organizations. About a year after the film's release, Spielberg founded the USC Shoah Foundation to gather research and educate people about the Holocaust.

Universal / Via YouTube

5. The origins of Amblin'

4. The gun is mightier than the sword.

3. That Jaws line was improvised.

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The most unforgettable line in this landmark film was Brody's frightened response to seeing the great white, "You're gonna need a bigger boat." This quote was birthed after the film's crew members repeatedly complained to producers that their support boat was too small. Since then, the line became a repeated joke for whenever anything went wrong on the set, and actor Roy Scheider eventually squeezed it into the film.

Universal / Via YouTube

2. E.T. almost got a sequel.

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Given the outstanding success of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial , it was only natural that there were plans for a sequel, which was strangely titled Nocturnal Fears . Featuring a much darker story, this follow-up was supposed to show Elliott and his friends and siblings getting kidnapped by evil aliens from the same world as E.T. This would've forced E.T., revealed to be named Zrek, to return to save Elliott and the other kids. Spielberg understandably scrapped this sequel, believing it would "rob the original [film] of its virginity."

Universal / Via YouTube

1. Death in The Twilight Zone

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One of the most infamous productions in Hollywood history was that of Twilight Zone — The Movie , which was helmed by multiple directors, including Spielberg. In director John Landis' segment of the film, an accident involving a helicopter stunt resulted in the deaths of Vic Morrow and two other child actors. During the investigation of the accident, it was revealed that Landis illegally hired the child actors to get around California's child labor laws. Though Landis was acquitted of manslaughter charges, Spielberg ended their friendship and demanded an end to the New Hollywood Era of directors having almost complete control of their films, saying , "No movie is worth dying for."

NBC / Via youtube.com

Do you agree with this list? Are any other hidden details or BTS facts that I missed? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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