Seeing superheroes cross paths on screen has become quite common in films and TV. In fact, Marvel and DC are pretty well-known for their epic, action-filled crossovers. However, it's worth noting that they aren't the only studios that can create fascinating new stories through a shared universe. If you need the proof, just look at ABC's Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, or the popular sci-fi film Alien vs. Predator. Still, what's even more fascinating is when two or more films that are seemingly unrelated, actually exist in the same world.
To be clear, sharing the same universe isn't just limited to a having common setting. It means that different events and certain characters literally share the same world (and in many cases, the same time period). The connections aren't always obvious from the get-go. For instance, two films can be connected through a single character or a few subtle references. Like when Danny Trejo from Machete reappeared in the classic Spy Kids. Either way, you'd be surprised to see how all of these standalone films are connected.
20th Century Fox/Universal Pictures
While director Steven Spielberg was working on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, his good friend George Lucas, aka the director of Star Wars, requested that he include a cameo from Yoda, promising that he'd have an E.T. cameo in his next Star Wars movie. He also thought it would be a good idea to help promote the franchise's first film, which would be released a year later. So in E.T., there's a scene where a kid is dressed in a Yoda costume for Halloween. Then E.T. actually recognizes him and says "Home, Home!"
George returned the favor by adding E.T. aliens to one of the scenes in his film, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. And as fans originally suspected, it turned out that the E.T. characters were of the same Asogian race as the aliens in the film.
This may come as a surprise to some, but both franchises have done comic book crossovers that date back to the 80s, including G.I. Joe and the Transformers. Both share the Hasbro Universe with several other franchises owned by the toy company, including M.A.S.K., Micronauts, and Rom. There was supposed to be a movie crossover between the two that was first announced in 2014. But in 2017, when GI Joe 3's director tried to make it happen, Paramount decided that the timing wasn't right. It's not a definite no, so maybe we'll see a crossover in the future?
Although Eddie Murphy starred as two completely different characters in these films, they technically took place in the same universe. Or rather, Billy Ray Valentine had a royal doppelganger living in Zamunda the entire time. As for how the two are connected, Randolph and Mortimer Duke, aka the founders of "Duke & Duke Commodities Brokers," appeared in both films. We know them as the antagonists in Trading Places, but in Coming to America, they resurfaced on the streets of New York as homeless men. They have an encounter with Prince Akeem, who strolls by and gives them a ton of cash. At this point, Randolph exclaims: "Mortimer, we’re back in business!"
Paramount Pictures/20th Century Fox
Though Daredevil was created over two decades before Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the creators of the latter were such huge fans of Daredevil that they still wanted to include a part of the story into their own, making it a shared universe. They made it so that both the anthropomorphic turtles and Daredevil's origins stemmed from the same accident. When a much younger Matt Murdock saved a blind man from being hit by a vehicle, a mysterious radioactive substance fell out of the truck and got into his eyes, making him blind. But then, that same substance leaked into a sewer drain and onto a group of turtles, which would eventually turn into teenage crime-fighting ninjas.
Dimension Films/20th Century Fox
We'd have never guessed that a kid-friendly adventure film and exploitation action flick were connected. In the latter, Machete went as far as ripping a bad guy's intestines out and then using it as a rope to swing out of a window. But thankfully, his character wasn't nearly as terrifying or extreme when he appeared again in Spy Kids. This time, he plays the estranged brother of the kids' dad and he who owns a spy shop. Although reluctant, Machete eventually helps his niece and nephew rescue both of their parents.
20th Century Fox/Warner Bros.
You're probably thinking that this is impossible because the settings of these films are over a century apart. However, fans were able to confirm the connection when they saw the bonus feature in Prometheus. It had a message from the CEO of Weyland Corporation, Peter Weyland. And in it, Peter reveals how he once got an offer to work for a mentor who wanted them to "take over the world" by creating the perfect human robots. He also noted how "amusing" it was that this guy implanted them with false memories and mentioned how he tried to be like God. It sounded like the exact description of Dr. Eldon Tyrell, who runs the Tyrell Corporation in Blade Runner.
Columbia Pictures/Universal Pictures
In Casper, when Carrigan inherits the Whipstaff Manor, she quickly learns that the place is haunted by Casper's three annoying uncles. She's so desperate to get rid of them that she calls our favorite team of paranormal investigators, the Ghostbusters. The only member that appears for a cameo, though, is Ray Stantz. He shows up in full gear with his proton pack, but even he is no match for the Ghostly Trio. After attempting it on his own, he runs back out of the haunted home with a broken proton pack, saying: "Who you gonna call? ...Someone else." LOL!
Did you know that Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction and Vic Vega/Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs are brothers? In fact, in 2004, director Quentin Tarantino mentioned an idea for a film that would star John Travolta and Michael Madsen as the Vega Brothers, but sadly, nothing ever became of it. Interestingly enough, these two films aren't the only pair that share this world, because according to Quentin, most of his films share a specal 'movie universe.' He once said: "So basically when the characters of Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction, when they go to the movies ... Kill Bill is what they go see."
Lionsgate Films/Lionsgate Films
These two films couldn't be more different. One focuses on a psychopathic killer who parades as a wealthy banker by day, while the other centers on a guy who tries to be with the girl he loves. Still, it turns out that both stories are connected because of two characters that have the same last name. It's hard to believe that these guys share the same DNA, but the drug-dealing Sean Bateman is actually the younger brother of Patrick Bateman, even though we've never even seen the two together. Both are book adaptations of novels written by controversial author Bret Easton.
Universal Pictures/Paramount Pictures
Here's a fun fact: Director Justin Lin worked on Better Luck Tomorrow and four films from the Fast And Furious series. So of course, it makes sense that he would seize the opportunity to introduce one of his own characters into the popular films. That character is none other than Han, who played a mischievous high school student in Better Luck Tomorrow. And according to Justin, Han wound up meeting and befriending Dominic Toretto because of his risky habits and tendency to get into trouble. It’s not too hard to believe that these two hit it off.
Screenwriter David Peoples actually worked on both of these films, so when it came to Soldier, he included a bunch of little Easter eggs to suggest that it took place in the same universe as Blade Runner. Unfortunately, though, Soldier wasn't nearly as successful. One of the more obvious examples in the film is when a Spinner is visible in a pile of wreckage in the background. Another detail that some may have missed is the fact that the battle at Tannhauser Gate was the same one that was referenced in Roy's "tears in the rain" monologue.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Had no one spotted that little detail where Rapunzel and Flynn stood amongst the crowd at Elsa’s coronation, we'd all probably still be clueless about the connection to this day. Nathan Greno, who co-directed Frozen, wasn't even aware of this until a fan brought it up to him (he had to double check to confirm it!). We can't help but wonder if the couple will make a second appearance in Frozen 2... Keeping our fingers crossed!
Warner Bros. Pictures
The two terrifying creatures co-exist in what's now known as the "MonsterVerse." We'll finally get to see them share the big screen and battle it out in Godzilla vs. Kong, which will serve as a sequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island. It's set to be released on March 13, 2020, and according to the director, Adam Wingard, it's gonna be a "massive monster brawl movie." He noted: "There's lots of monsters going crazy on each other, but at the end of the day I want there to be an emotional drive to it. I want you to be emotionally invested in them."
Dimension Films/Miramax Films
Eagle-eyed fans might have noticed a VHS copy of Clerks at Stu’s house in Scream. But things got even more interesting when characters from that very film, appeared in Scream 3. Jay and Silent Bob had a brief cameo, where they played a pair of visiting tourists at Sunrise Studios. Plus, there’s a hilarious moment where Jay mistakes Gale Weathers for Connie Chung and asks about Maury Povich. Kevin Smith, who directed Clerks, decided to return the favor by having Wes Craven make an appearance as the director of Scream 4 in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Dimension Films/Universal Pictures
You might remember Richard Dreyfuss as the oceanographer, Matt Hooper, in Jaws. He actually returned to play the older version of himself in the (mediocre) comedy horror, Piranha 3D. But while he was able to survive a killer shark his first film, he didn't fare so well against the piranha fishes. The character is technically named "Matt Boyd," so as to avoid any legal issues. But still, Richard was the same Matt that we all came to know in Jaws. He even wore the exact same outfit!
Miramax Films/Universal Pictures
Both films are based on novels that were written by Elmore Leonard but get this: The original stories aren't even related. In the movie versions, we see one similarity that ties both films together, and that's Agent Ray Nicolette. Michael Keaton first starred as the character in Jackie Brown, but then Steven Soderbergh, who directed Out of Sight, really wanted the character to make an appearance in his film. With the help of Quentin Tarantino, Steven was able to include the character without having to pay for the rights. In Out Of Sight, he appears briefly as Jennifer Lopez’s character's boyfriend.