Fans new ahead of time that the Swordfish II, the ship piloted by Cowboy Bebop‘s Spike Spiegel, was making an appearance in Stephen Spielberg’s Ready Player One film and earlier trailers teased a cameo of the original RX-78-2 Gundam. Now you can check out the giant mecha up close and personal in a limited clip that began streaming in Japan on April 17, three days ahead of its Japan premiere.
The clip shows character Daito (Win Morisaki) summon a Gundam before air-dropping into battle.
Another clip shows an extended version of the film’s race sequence where Art3mis weaves through cars and dodges T-Rex and King Kong on the back of Kaneda’s bike from Akira.
The film contains numerous pop culture references with appearances by Hello Kitty and Chun-Li, and Ryu from Street Fighter. Spielberg himself praised Japan’s pop culture trends at the film’s red carpet premiere in Kabukicho on Wednesday.
He was joined on the red carpet by actress Olivia Cooke (Art3mis) and actor Tye Sheridan (Wade/Parzival). Japanese celebrities Sara Takanashi (Olympic ski jumper), Reika Oozeki (YouTuber), Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. director), Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed director), Yūji Kaida (illustrator), Aya Kouda (novelist), Reina Kobayashi (actress), Nashiko Momoyama (cosplayer), Dante Carver (actor), Kanō Sisters (talent), and Hiroto Kiritani (shogi player/investor).
Ernest Cline’s original novel, dubbed “holy grail of pop culture” features a plethora of early Japanese video game and anime references, from Neon Genesis Evangelion to Toei‘s Spider-Man (written as Supaidaman in the book) live-action series.
The film has garnered US$117 million domestically since it opened on March 29 and US$484 million worldwide.