Run easter eggs

Update: We’ve learned about one more significant cameo in the film. Read about that at the bottom of this article. Our original piece follows.

The filmmakers behind the new suspense thriller Run are no strangers to easter eggs. After all, they threaded an entire alien invasion story through the background of their previous film, Searching. Now co-writer/director Aneesh Chaganty and producer Natalie Qasabian are back with a new suspense thriller starring Kiera Allen and Sarah Paulson as a mother and daughter who have an increasingly fraught relationship as some shocking secrets are revealed.

I spoke with them about their new movie here, and now that the film is streaming on Hulu for all to see, we can share the rest of our spoiler-heavy conversation, which focused on all of the Run easter eggs hidden throughout the story, a few sneaky cameos, and an update on future projects this creative team is involved with – including Searching 2.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

I want to talk about some spoiler stuff with you guys – specifically about the easter eggs. How about if I tell you the things that I noticed, and you tell me if I missed anything? Aneesh, I heard your performance as the recorded voice on the phone when Chloe calls 411.

Aneesh: You’re the first person to bring it up!

Were you channeling anyone in particular during that performance?

Aneesh: Honestly, when we were doing the line readings, I was playing the 411 person and I was playing the guy from Brooklyn who she talks to right after. I was just competing with myself to see if I could get the Brooklyn character, but I didn’t get it, so I ended up with the 411 guy.

I noticed in the credits that Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Spider-Man: Far From Home) plays that Brooklyn guy. How did that piece of casting come about?

Natalie: He’s a good friend, honestly, that Aneesh, [co-writer and producer] Sev, and I have known for years. We were just like, “Who could pull this off, and who would be a cool cameo to sneak in there?”

I noticed the names of the movies on the marquee: Breakout and Fake News. Was there any special significance to those titles, beyond the fact that Chloe is clearly trying to break out of her situation and fake news maybe applying to Chloe’s true parentage?

Aneesh: Huh, I did not think about Fake News [that way]. Breakout’s the obvious one. Fake News is the name of a show that Sev and I are developing that we just wanted to pop in there. Did you catch who is the star of Breakout?

No, I didn’t.

Aneesh: OK, I love this easter egg. [Searching star] John Cho makes a very special appearance in this movie on all the posters of Breakout. And when [Paulson’s Diane and Allen’s Chloe are] watching the film, during the action sequence, you can hear John talking and giving very action movie lines.

That’s fantastic. I noticed another one that’s also pretty subtle, but there’s a direct homage to Misery in that the pharmacist’s full name is Kathy Bates.

Aneesh: Yep, you’re the first to spot that. The pharmacist’s full name is Kathy Bates.

So those were the ones I noticed, but I know that in Searching, you had a whole alien invasion subplot subtly playing out in the background. Did you find a way to continue that here, or to maybe work some other story into the background?

Natalie: Stay tuned for Searching 2.

Aneesh: But did you catch the other Searching reference in this movie?

Which one?

Aneesh: When Chloe is on her computer in the beginning of the movie and looking at college videos, the video she clicks, there’s the stock model girl…

Oh, yes! I was like, “It’s fish_n_chips!” I did notice that one, that was great. OK, so I would be bad at my job if I didn’t ask you guys about Searching 2, so what’s the latest on that?

Natalie: We’re very excited to say that it’s heavily in progress. I think we can say this. Because of the pandemic, we’ve sort of pushed the shoot, but, like the first movie, we’re spending a lot of time pre-vizing the whole movie out, and we’re deep into that process right now. We have seen portions of the movie and we’re very, very excited for it.

Awesome. Aneesh, do you have something lined up to direct next?

Aneesh: Nothing that’s been inked on paper from a studio that says, “We’re going to put money onto it.” But Sev and I are, right now, writing the movie that the three of us are going to make next. That is sort of like a heist movie that I’ve been talking about loosely. And then there’s a television show that we’re very, very close to having that all inked out. That will probably be the next thing that I direct, and both of them are very, very different from each other. So yeah, on the cusp of being able to know for sure what I’m directing next.

What’s the ten second tease for Fake News?

Aneesh: So the show that I was just alluding to is not Fake News. It’s a separate one. The thing that I’m learning as you spend more time being allowed to make things, is that it’s a lot like cooking a crazy big meal. Certain dishes will need to simmer and then you put them away and you bring your attention to something else. So we were cooking Fake News when we were making Run, and now it’s simmering, and there’s this other project that came in. So hopefully more on that soon.

***

Update: Chaganty revealed that he also physically appears in the movie, during a scene in which the Chloe character visits a pharmacy:

Run is now streaming on Hulu.

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