Holy shit! Pardon my language, but holy shit!
The first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE debuted at Comic-Con on Saturday and promptly blew everyone’s mind, including my own. Though I had anticipated more story set-up involving OASIS creator James Halliday and the contest that lures Wade Watts out of the stacks, I understand why Warner Bros. would want to lead with VFX spectacle in front of the Con crowd.
Honestly, I was late to the party when it came to ready author Ernest Cline’s “holy grail of pop culture,” but when I finally cracked open the book, I devoured it in just a few days. I knew it would take a big director to bring it to the big screen, and it doesn’t get any bigger than Spielberg, who appears to have done right by Cline.
Ready Player One 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.
In addition to Sheridan and Rylance, the film stars Olivia Cooke, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg and Ben Mendelsohn, but don’t be surprised if they’re overshadowed by the appearance of pop culture icons such as the Iron Giant, Freddy Krueger and the DeLorean from Back to the Future, not to mention references to Akira.
Spielberg directed from a script that Cline co-wrote with Zak Penn, and he also produced the film with Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah. Warner Bros. will release Ready Player One on March 30, 2018. I can’t wait to “press start.”
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief