2020’s Bloodshot is an action-packed, cyberpunk-inspired adventure, but there’s a lot more to this film than just adrenaline-fueled fight scenes. If you watch the movie closely, you’ll notice a ton of interesting references, homages, and easter eggs. Even if you’re a huge fan of the Bloodshot comics, some of these little details might have gone completely over your head.
Ever since DMG Entertainment acquired Valiant Entertainment, an entirely new universe of comic book heroes has the potential to appear on the big screen. There are clues within Bloodshot that give us insight into the Valiant universe and the movies that might follow on the heels of this first entry.
10 RST Stands For ‘Rising Spirit Tech’
One of the more obvious references in Bloodshot is the name of the corporation that initially augments Vine Diesel’s character, Ray. As fans of the comics will undoubtedly know, “RST” stands for “Rising Spirit Technology.”
In the comics, the organization is known as “Project Rising Spirit,” “PRS,” or simply “Rising Spirit.” The organization is slightly different in the film, but the basic premise remains the same. One interesting fact is that Project Rising Spirit is later revealed to be working for another organization called “The Sect.”
9 Martin Axe’s Real Identity
The character of Martine Axe is also a reference to the Valiant comics. Although Martin Axe is simply a tech wizard with villainous leanings in the film, he’s much more substantial in the comics.
Known simply as “Ax,” the comic book version of this character has the power to communicate with machines and control them. There have been many versions of this character, and some appeared in some of the earliest Valiant comics.
8 Bloodshot’s Link With Memento
Only serious movie buffs will immediately notice the similarities between 2000’s Memento and 2020’s Bloodshot. Both films deal with memory loss, but it goes much further than that. In both films, protagonists with memory loss are intentionally manipulated and misled to enact revenge.
In both films, the loss of the protagonist’s wife is the catalyst that fuels this manipulation. Of course, Bloodshot essentially rubbed these similarities in our faces with the casting of Guy Pearce (the lead in Memento) in a major role.
7 Bloodshot’s Trademark Chest Scars
In the film, one of the first things fans will notice is the fact that Vin Diesel doesn’t look much like his comic book counterpart. This cinematic character lacks the pale white skin and the red circle on his chest.
Or does he? If you look closely, you can see red glowing from his chest, although it’s very subtle. Towards the end of the movie, Bloodshot also becomes paler. In an interview with Gamespot, director Dave Wilson attributed this to the adrenaline-fueled “fight or flight” response, when “blood rushes away from the skin to your muscles, so you can either run, or punch whatever the hell is terrifying you.“
6 Homages To Comic Book Covers
There are many scenes from the movie that look they were inspired heavily by Bloodshot comic book covers, because, well… they were. Although Vin Diesel might not look exactly like Bloodshot in the comics, the production staff made a decent effort to get the imagery right in a couple of key shots. These include scenes where Diesel is holding dual pistols or sporting heavy lacerations across his face.
In a recent interview, Chairman of Valiant Entertainment Dan Mintz stated that superheroes in this new cinematic universe are “more human than superhuman.” While nanotechnology-induced strength and abilities aren’t exactly normal, it’s interesting to note that they’re more within the realms of this reality compared to seemingly magical and supernatural abilities of heroes from other universes. Although Bloodshot is tough, he definitely takes damage.
5 The Importance Of The Name ‘Ray’
Although it might seem like a pretty obscure reference, the name “Ray” has considerable significance in the world of Valiant Comics. First of all, it’s important to understand that Bloodshot started out as a side character in the Valiant world before getting his own stories.
One of the comics that he appeared in was Rai, a story about augmented humans policing a futuristic Japan. Eventually, both stories were retconned so that the heroes in Rai were infused with Bloodshot’s blood. This granted them some of his abilities. So in a sense, “Ray” was the first “Rai.” And “the last Rai” is using Ray’s original nanobot-infused blood to fight.
4 The Secret Behind The Tunnel Scene
One of the most visually satisfying scenes in Bloodshot involved a tunnel and a ton of flour. During this scene, the vibrant, heavily-stylized art of the Bloodshot comics was captured in a stunning manner. Vin Diesel became covered in flour, and he appeared more like his pale, white comic book counterpart than ever.
INITIATE SEQUENCE: Directing BLOODSHOT is a featurette that will appear on the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Bloodshot. In this behind-the-scenes documentary, it is revealed that they didn’t really use flour for this scene. Why? Because the flour actually became flammable, and the actors were using red flares during the scene. In the end, they had to switch to another substance that only looked like flour. Regardless, the substance made Diesel look more like his comic book counterpart, making it a cool easter egg.
3 Gina’s Fate In The Comics
Gina is a big part of both the comic and the Bloodshot movie. Ray’s memories of this romance and its devastating end are what drives him to such violent acts of revenge. Of course, there’s a massive twist in the film and it’s revealed that Gina is actually still alive.
Although Gina’s character gets a lot of screen time in the movie, her character is a little more complex in the comic book. That being said, Gina’s character is also not alive in the comic. In the end, this is a reference to a character who is considerably different in the comics.
2 The Essential Gem
In one scene, Bloodshot is effectively disabled by an electromagnetic pulse, otherwise known as an EMP device. An electromagnetic pulse is particularly effective against Bloodshot because this wave of energy disables all electronics – including his nanobots.
Apparently, this EMP is actually a slightly obscure smartphone called the Essential Gem. Although it was scheduled for a 2020 release, the phone has now been canceled. It’s easy to see why production decided to use the phone to represent a strange, futuristic device.
1 The RST Building Is Based On The TM Menara Rabung
The RST building looks remarkably like the TM Menara Rabung building in Kuala Lumpur. The futuristic, real-life building is also close to the Petronas Twin towers.
During certain scenes, you can see that the RST building is a CGI-created structure that is heavily based on the Menara Rabung. You can also see that the entire surrounding area is based on Kuala Lumpur, with the silhouettes of the Petronas Twin towers in the background.
Bloodshot had a lot of hidden easter eggs, but even die-hard fans probably missed some of them.