READY PLAYER ONE
Steven Spielberg’s return to ’ 80s geek nirvana
In a cinematic landscape dominated by the familiar likes of Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a big- budget blockbuster that isn’t based on an existing series is a rare thing indeed. While Ready Player One is the newbie that bucks the trend, however, it will feel comfortingly familiar – this movie is set to bring together bits and pieces from as many disparate franchises as The Lego Movie did back in 2014.
THE IMPORTANCEOF BEING ERNEST
Adapted from Ernest Cline’s bestselling debut novel, Ready Player One is set in an over- populated future where fossil fuels have all but run out, and the human race escapes the misery of its everyday existence by retreating into a sophisticated virtual reality system known as the OASIS. When OASIS inventor James Halliday dies, the geeky, Steve Jobs- ish figure leaves behind a complex Easter Egg hunt – the first person to reach the end will win control of Halliday’s vast business empire.
Good news for members of generations X and Y! Halliday was totally obsessed with ’ 80s pop culture, so all the puzzles he sets are based around the movies, TV, music, books, comics and games he grew up with. In Cline’s novel, many devote their entire lives to the search for Halliday’s Easter Egg. Known as “gunters” ( short for Egg hunters), they revise everything they can about ’ 80s pop culture – from arcade games to song lyrics to Monty Python movie dialogue – to help them in their quest.
Christopher Nolan was briefly linked with the movie, but seeing as Steven Spielberg probably had his fingerprints over more ’ 80s classics than anyone else, it’s difficult to imagine a better fit for the Ready Player One directing gig. “It’s classic Spielberg, right in the centre of the sweet spot of really his classic work,” explains producer Donald De Line. “There could be no one better to bring this to the screen.”
NIGHTOF THE GUNTER
The story focuses on teen orphan gunter Wade ( avatar name Parzival), who’ll be played by X- Men: Apocalypse’s new Cyclops Tye Sheridan. Rival gunter Samantha Cook/ Art3mis will be played by Me And Earl And The Dying Girl’s Olivia Cooke, while Simon Pegg has reportedly signed on to play Halliday’s old business partner Ogden Morrow. Chief villain duties go to Ben Mendelsohn ( soon to be a baddie in Star Wars: Rogue One) as the egg- hunting face of a massive corporation that wants control of the OASIS for itself.
ALL ABOUT STEVE?
While DeLine says that “We’ve had pretty darn good luck with getting all the various games and characters and brands to sign on [ to appear in the movie],” we won’t be seeing any of the numerous nods to Spielberg’s filmography that appear in the novel. “The movie won’t have any of my films in it,” says the director. “I’m just going to leave myself out of it. I can’t do that. Too self- referential.”
WHEN DOES IT BOOT UP?
Having moved from its original December 2017 slot to avoid Star Wars: Episode VIII, Ready Player One is now pencilled in for 30 March 2018.