Next year, Steven Spielberg is going to bring audiences into an epic nerdland with Ready Player One. His adaptation of Ernest Cline‘s wildly popular novel will have plenty of references, but hopefully, it’ll have a lot more going for it than a trip down nostalgia lane. Considering Ready Player One is a Steven Spielberg film, we have little reason to believe it won’t be.
Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan (Mud) as Wade Owen Watts. Watts, in the OASIS, is Parzival. The OASIS is a massive virtual reality created by one of Watts’ idols, the brilliant James Halliday (Mark Rylance), a kid of the ’80s. When Halliday passes away, he leaves behind a nerdy, massive egg hunt. The winner inherits his company, meaning they control the OASIS – which more than a few nefarious characters, like Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), wants to take over and exploit.
Parzival teams up with one of the best players in the game, Samantha Evelyn Cook/Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), and others to defeat Sorrento and try to win the easter egg hunt. In the book, the competitions involve gameplay and knowing scenes and lines from War Games and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. There’s also plenty of references to Spielberg’s work, including movies he’s directed and produced. He’s previously said he cut most from the book, but I’m pretty sure he’s keeping the Delorean – which Parzival rolls up into a party with, as nerds do. Ready Player One co-stars Simon Pegg (Ogden Morrow), T.J. Miller (iR0k), Win Morisaki (Daito), and Philip Zhao(Shoto).
Here’s the Ready Player One trailer, featuring a riff on “Pure Imagination”:
Well, this looks it comes from the mind of one imaginative 12-year-old. It’s great to see Spielberg shooting action on this scale again. It seems as if Ready Player One has some of the director’s biggest action to date. According to Spielberg, The Iron Giant plays a big role in the film. Here’s some other details shared from the panel at Hall-H:
- When asked what about the novel interested him, Spielberg mentioned he was attracted to the OASIS. “The virtual world was amazing,” he said. “When I read the book, it was the most amazing flashforward and flashback at the same time, to a decade I was very involved in, the 80s.” He added the future is “what waits for us,” whether we like it or not.
- As for creating the OASIS, Spielberg said of Cline: “I had no idea at first how I was going to get any of you there, but he was the guide, the handbook.”
- Cline “learned how to be a storyteller” from the filmmaker. The author added some major events in the book may only be in the corner of the frame, but it’s “still in the spirit of the book.”
- Spielberg reiterated he had to “leave a lot of himself out,” regarding the references. When he first read the book, he thought, “They’re going need a younger director.”
Ready Player One opens in theaters March 30, 2018