Ready Player One is one of my favourite books of all time. It follows a nerdy kid in a world that has really gone down the toilet. Housing is hard to come by, amenities are scarce and fossil fuel has pretty much all been used up. It’s a bleak world, made brighter by the fact everyone escapes into a virtual reality world named the OASIS, where anything is possible. The world, for the most part, is based around a core RPG MMO style game engine but it also allows business and industry to thrive and everything in the real world kind of exists to serve the virtual one. It’s escapism taken to the extreme. James Halliday, the creator (who is a real Steve Jobs type), dies and reveals a contest in his will. The first player to find three hidden keys and locate his Easter Egg inside the OASIS will win his multi-billion dollar fortune. It’s a virtual competition that people are willing to kill for, including a shadowy soulless company who want to take control of the OASIS for their own ends.
It’s a very neat world and immersive almost immediately with a fantastic opening chapter and when I heard it was being brought to the big screen by a director like Stephen Spielberg, I nearly wet my pants with excitement. The famous director has stated that it’s huge reference base will not cover a lot of his beloved classics though. In the book, the story is mired in pop culture from around the 1980s. Halliday was a big fan of everything nerd culture wise from that era and the competition made people brush up on all his interests to try to get an upper hand in discovering his fortune. Spielberg helped shape the 80s so expunging his work seems a little odd. I did wonder how they would get around the licensing involved with putting together a film like this. It is constantly referential to media that has come before to early and vague Japanese Anime to Star Wars and Back to the Future.
In an interview Spielberg confirmed the cutting of his own movies from the story, thankfully Parvizal’s (the protagonist of the story) iconic DeLorean seems to have made the cut and will feature in the movie. Spielberg then went on to assure fans that he was ‘happy that there was enough without me that made the 80s a great time to grow up’. So maybe we are worried for nothing. Regardless of what they include and what they cut, the source material is so good that they would have to do something pretty monumentally criminal to mess it up. I’m wholeheartedly looking forward to this!
Ready Player One is set to release on March 30th 2018, so we have a while to wait yet. What do you think of Spielberg’s decision and are you a fan of Ernest Cline’s epic novel? Tweet your thoughts @CelebrityCutout.