What if I told you that Deadpool and Wolverine existed in the same universe? Oh, you knew that… Ok,what about… oh, you knew about Supergirl and The Flash too? Damn.
Expanded universes are so hot right now. Marvel and DC have been at the forefront of this movement with their cinematic universes and crossover shows, and it’s working. Fans flocked to theatres for movies like The Avengers, and shows like Arrow have already had 2 spin-offs. But it isn’t only comic books that have been doing the expanded universe thing. Rapunzel from Tangled made a cameo in Frozen, and Urkel popped up on pretty much every sitcom in the ‘90s. What I mean is that shared universes are not a new concept - it’s actually very, very old. Crossovers date back to radio shows from the ‘20s and books from the 1800s. Some popular characters were created strictly to add depth to or continue a story universe that has lost steam. For example, the Green Hornet was written to be The Lone Ranger’s grandnephew when writers realized that the Ranger was a bit antiquated.
Here is a list of 10 Shared Universes that you may not have known about.
10 The Pixar Theory
It’s common knowledge that the Pizza Planet truck has forced its way into every Pixar movie (except The Incredibles). The truck tries to make sure its presence is felt throughout time appearing before recorded human history (The Good Dinosaur), and after the Earth is desecrated (Wall-E). However, the pizza truck is not the only thing that connects the movies to one another.
9 Star Wars and ET
It’s not much of a reach that two movies focusing on aliens might be linked. Pair that with the fact that the directors of the movies are old friends, and there’s no surprise about it. It all started in 1982 with one small promise. Steven Spielberg, director of E.T., was approached by his friend George Lucas asking if he would include a Yoda cameo in the film. The reason was to promote Return of the Jedi, which would be coming out that next year.
8 Friends and Seinfeld
Crazy to think that two shows about a group of friends in New York could both take place in the same universe, right? Well, actually the opposite of crazy - it's down right normal. The two shows were on the air together for 4 years without any member of the two gangs meeting each other. While they have never met each other, Kramer met Paul Buchman and that seals the deal. How?
7 The Tarantino Universe
Much like Pixar, a series of constant Easter eggs proves that all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies share a universe. Nothing clarifies this better than the running “product placement” of Red Apple tobacco. Butch buys their cigarettes in Pulp Fiction, Django rolls his own cigarettes with it in Django Unchained, and Minnie doesn’t smoke it at all in The Hateful Eight. That’s only 3 examples, but most Tarantino films feature the tobacco in some form.
6 The Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack
The creator may have said that he never intended for the two shows to be in the same universe, but they totally are. Ignoring that they have the same animation style, Jack visits a destroyed and antiquated version of Townsville at one point in his show’s run. Some argue that it may not have been Townsville, but the city really resembles it and there’s even an almost identical billboard advertising dog food that appears in both.
5 G.I. Joe and Transformers
There have been some rumors of late that the next Transformers movie will feature the newest incarnations of G.I. Joe. You know, the one with The Rock. This has fans up in arms crying about cash grabs and destroying their childhoods and blah blah blah.
4 Daredevil and the Ninja Turtles
3 Machete and Spy Kids
Robert Rodriguez puts Danny Trejo in pretty much anything he can. Knowing this, it isn’t too surprising to see Trejo playing the gruff uncle with a soft side in Spy Kids or to see him as the hyper violent Mexican federal in Machete. What is surprising is when you find out that they are the same dude.
2 The Wire and The X Files
1 Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead
The theory goes that Breaking Bad is the prequel to The Walking Dead. It seems pretty implausible, seeing that Breaking Bad is a fairly realistic portrayal of a man losing himself in the drug business, while The Walking Dead is about people dealing with the undead during a zombie apocalypse. However, upon hearing the theory, fan interest level went through the roof as they began to tear through episodes of their favorite zombie and meth filled shows to see if they could find any direct connection between Walt and Rick… and the fans did it.
While most of the Easter eggs that “prove” this theory are simply props that were used on both shows (Walt’s Dodge Charger, Gale/Milton’s coffee maker), Merle’s old drug habit seemingly proves that the shows are parts of the same world. In a very un-Darryl-like moment, Darryl opens up to Beth about his brother Merle. He reminisces about an old drug dealer that his brother once had, a dealer who sounds an awful lot like Jesse Pinkman. Darryl even makes sure to specify that the dealer called him “b****” as Jesse is known to call everything.
Not enough? Well, in season 2, before the theory was a thought for most people, Darryl finds Merle’s old drug stash, which was filled with blue meth - Walter White’s meth, the only blue meth to ever exist in history. Mixing the stash with the description of Jesse in The Walking Dead may not prove that Breaking Bad is a true prequel, but it is proof that the two are in the same universe.
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