Ready Player One – A Better Reality Starts In One Month

We’re now less than one month away now from the much-anticipated release of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One! Here’s the latest trailer…

As you can see this looks to be something very special from Spielberg and company. Not only do they seem to capture all the pop culture icons in spectacular fashion but the OASIS, the virtual reality world where most of the film takes place, is bang on.

In case you’ve forgotten, the film is based on the 2011 Ernest Cline novel of the same name, which found its way onto the New York Times bestsellers list. The synopsis of the book and now film is as follows…

The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.

The catch is that the entire book is packed full of pop culture references straight from the 1980s, 1990s and even into the 2000s. Getting the film made required some influence since acquiring the rights to all the properties mentioned in the book was a monumental task. One way to get around that of course is to hire a director who was responsible for a good portion of those references, namely Steven Spielberg.

 

Ironically, in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cline admitted although getting him (Spielberg) on board was easy enough, getting him to sign off on referencing his own material, that was a bit trickier…

He was so loath to reference anything of his own. It’s not that he’s overly humble, but he’s just not a fan of being a self-referential or playing tribute to [his] own stuff. It was a unique circumstance where we kind of had to convince him to do it. But mostly he would say yes when it was something he had produced and not directed.

Already the studio has asked that Cline write a follow-up to the book in anticipation of their being a sequel, something which he planned on doing anyways just not so soon. Not only that but he’s also writing a screenplay for his 2015 novel Armada which was also optioned by studios, so as you can imagine Cline is a very busy man.

 

But for right now his main focus is Ready Player One and he can’t wait for audiences to see it. Having seen it himself a few weeks ago he left the screening feeling very overwhelmed by the whole aspect…

I got to see it a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie like this, where so many of the actors play two different roles. One in their own body, and then in The Oasis where they’re operating another photorealistic body with facial motion capture.

Even though the film is being released on the heels of some highly anticipated films (A Wrinkle in Time, Tomb Raider, Pacific Rim: Uprising) it has the month of April mostly to itself. A strength for the film is the previously mentioned treasure trove of pop culture references, the culmination of which could attract a wide variety of demographics. As of right now early projections have the film opening to the tune of $54 million in North America, a number I’m sure Warner Bros. is hoping goes up as the release date approaches.

 

Reactions to the marketing materials have been mixed thus far and Spielberg has been on a bit of down streak when it comes to big-budget action films as of late. Let’s hope this marks a turn around for the long-time director who at one time was a box office sure thing. Either way the film will have to rely partially on good word of mouth if it hopes to earn back some of the production budget which is rumored to be well above the $200 million mark.

If the film can find an audience beyond the book then there’s a good chance a sequel will get green lit, along with perhaps some type of rendition of Cline’s other novel Armada. If you haven’t read that book I suggest you pick it up if you are a fan of Ready Player One as it to toils in nostalgia and is full 80s goodness. That film would be an excellent follow-up and if you liked The Last Starfighter, then you’ll definitely want to see an Armada made.

Listen, Cline may not be considered one of the great writers of our time but his books are full of fun, adventure, hope and most of all heart. And we all could use some of that right now.

Till next time…

Ready Player One arrives in theaters March 29, 2018…will you be ready?

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Author: gizmorubiks

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.

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