Movies are now generally packed to the brim with Easter eggs, references and fun nods to other movies, other forms of media and people.
The movies in the hugely popular comic book genre are no different - in fact, such fun inclusions are more prominent in comic book movies than pretty much any other genre you can name - and that means directors get the chance to have a little fun and even, on occasions, give nods to themselves.
This has happened a number of times, whereby comic book offerings have including Easter eggs and nods that refer to projects the directors of said films have worked on in the past - it's vanity in its absolute most shameless form.
In this article, we're going to run through ten such instances from blockbuster movies in the comic book genre (which, remember, has been one of the most prominent genres in Hollywood in recent years and is still going strong). Here are ten nods directors gave to their previous work in comic book movies.
11 300 (Watchmen)
Zack Snyder's very underrated 2009 Watchmen movie is jam-packed with a number of nods to another of his comic book movies - 2007's brilliant 300.
10 Slither (Guardians Of The Galaxy)
Guardians of the Galaxy had one particular scene that was a dream for any Easter egg-loving director. The Collector's museum scene enabled James Gunn to put an abundance of Marvel comic book species and artifacts on display - including the likes of Howard the Duck, Cosmo the Spacedog and a Dark Elf - but it also let him include some exhibits from other universes aside from Marvel.
9 Xena: Warrior Princess (Spider-Man)
Sam Raimi has had a highly impressive career in movies and television as a director, producer, actor and writer - and one of his many producing credits was the television show Xena: Warrior Princess, which he worked on numerous times during its original run between 1995 and 2001.
8 The Nightmare Before Christmas (Batman Forever)
This is cheating somewhat, as Tim Burton had actually moved to the producer's chair by the time 1995's Batman Forever was released - with Joel Schumacher having taken over Bat-directorial duties - but you have to imagine that Burton would have been in on it, given his involvement in the movie.
7 The Evil Dead (The Spider-Man Trilogy)
Sam Raimi again and this time it's a number of nods back to what is arguably his most famous work - the Evil Dead series of movies and, in particular, their lead character, Ash Williams. Ash was played by Bruce Campbell and Raimi recruited the actor for three separate roles in his three Spider-Man movies.
6 Batman Begins (The Dark Knight Rises)
This might seem like an odd one, because of course there are going to be references to previous movies in the same trilogy, but this particular nod to 2005's Batman Begins in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises is particularly clever and one that director Christopher Nolan clearly went above and beyond to include.
5 Swingers (Iron Man 2)
Jon Favreau directed both of the first Iron Man movies and in 2010's Iron Man 2 he opted to include a very fun nod to a movie he had directed in the past - 1996's Swingers.
4 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Iron Man 3)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was a 2005 neo-noir black comedy crime movie directed by Shane Black and starring Robert Downey, Jr. So, when the pair reunited for 2013's Iron Man 3, it was only fitting that Black would throw in a number of nods to their previous work together.
2 Watchmen (Man Of Steel)
Zack Snyder again - and this time he's referencing the film in which he previously referenced 300! That film is the aforementioned Watchmen and Snyder included a sneaky nod to it in his 2013 Superman offering, Man of Steel.
1 The Buffyverse (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, during the scene in which Thor has his mind manipulated by Scarlet Witch, the Asgardian has an experience that takes him back to his home realm. In the vision, he converses with Heimdall, who warns him of a coming threat (Thor: Ragnarok) and, in the background, wolf, ram and hart masks can be seen, which is a nod to Wolfram and Hart - the evil law firm in Whedon's television show Angel.
Whedon also brought along his regular collaborator Alexis Denisof for the first Avengers movie, in which the man who played Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel portrayed Thanos and Loki's ally, the Other.
Sources: Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki, Spider-Man Films Wiki, Batman Wiki, Watchmen Wiki, Marvel Movies Wiki, DC Movies Wiki, Nolanverse Wiki.
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