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Fans Are Quick To Point Out A Possible Finding Nemo Reference In Willem Dafoe's Inside Trailer

Focus Features revealed the thrilling trailer for Willem Dafoe's upcoming art heist film "Inside" releasing exclusively in theaters March 10th, 2023. "Inside" follows Dafoe's character Nemo as he becomes trapped inside an elegant smart house when attempting to steal valuable paintings. He's mission for survival quickly takes a disturbing turn when he looks to his environment to sustain nourishment.

His desperate attempt to escape leads to several futile attempts including a carrier pigeon, a paper note that won't fit under the door, and even the skylight window of the home. The film also features a few possible cheeky nods to the 2003 animated Disney and Pixar hit "Finding Nemo," which Dafoe was notably featured in. His memorable role as Gill, the heroic and fatherly Moorish Idol (via Liverpool Museums.org), was a stand-out fan favorite, particularly Nemo's (Alexander Gould) initiation scene (where he was outrageously dubbed "Sharkbait). 

Dafoe's newest gripping film highlights the actor's versatile abilities, as he carries the film almost entirely on his own. His inner-ear companion immediately ditches him and ends the connection when Nemo is captured. This sets "Inside" up to be a fascinating and enthralling feature where Dafoe can flex his talents. Fans are both eager for the new film and ecstatic over the combined "Finding Nemo" references, which they've been expressing online.

Willem Dafoe's Finding Nemo character may have been referenced

Fans were immediately drawn to the close-up shot of the Moorish Idol in the home's tank prominent in the "Inside" trailer. Not only does the fish mirror Nemo's captive state, it may be another reference to the beloved oceanic tale. YouTube comments on the official trailer are overflowing with notes pointing out the possible easter egg. 

Abe McG writes "Is this supposed to be a reference to Willem's other character Gill from Finding Nemo?" as Misty Rose counts both possible echoes of the film with "wait....his name is Nemo. and he eats a fish that looks like Gill. this whole thing is one big Finding Nemo reference." WartyWarthogHogger also enjoys the moment, noting "His name is Nemo and the fish at 0:35 almost looks like his character in Finding Nemo. Nice." 

The rabbit hole of Reddit provided a deeper meaning for Dafoe's surprising meal with u/fishwithfish (an ironic username) commenting "Is Willem Defoe gagging down a fish that resembles his character in Finding Nemo a statement on artists and popular art? Who f***ing cares — you say Defoe, I'm in(side)!" Another user, u/pethris, replies also noting the unsubtle connection "His name in the movie is Nemo, it's a safe bet." With this added layer of reflection and referencing, Dafoe's next hit "Inside" teases to be an unmissable feature that fans can flock to like the film's symbolic pigeon.