San Diego Comic-Con unveiled a tonne of new trailers over the weekend, but the one that caught our eye was this gem for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Adapted from Fanboys screenwriter Ernie Cline’s debut novel of the same name, this dystopian sci-fi is absolutely jam-packed with ’80s pop culture references, making it one of our most anticipated films of next year.
The story is set in 2044 (2045 in the film) and imagines a world in decay. Fossil fuels have run dry, global warming is in full effect, there are widespread social problems stemming from a collapsing global economy. Life is no longer satisfying and thus a world of virtual reality has taken its place for a generation known as the “missing millions”.
A virtual experience called the Oasis is the only escape, and in the wake of its creator’s (Mark Rylance) passing, he leaves behind Easter Eggs within the game to name the company’s successor. Avid ’80s enthusiast Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), and his team finally locate the first of the three clues, launching them into a meta adventure filled with references to everyone from Freddy Krueger to the Iron Giant.
This vivid trailer is bursting with instantly recognisable characters and props from film history, including the DeLorean from the Back to the Future franchise, which was produced by Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. Speaking to Collider in 2016, Spielberg explained, “one of the reasons I decided to make the movie was that it brought me back to the ’80s.”
Of course, the references in Ready Player One extend beyond Spielberg’s filmography, and at Comic-Con Cline revealed, “one of the most fun things was listening to [screenwriter] Zak Penn and Steven come up with fun things to insert into the film, and because it’s Steven a lot of people said yes.” It’s safe to say that without Spielberg’s involvement, getting the film made would have proven extremely tricky.
With Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg, TJ Miller and Hannah John-Kamen co-starring alongside Rylance and Sheridan, we can’t wait to be taken on what is sure to be a fun-filled nostalgia trip.
Ready Player One is released on 30 March, 2018.
Published 24 Jul 2017
Did E.T. really cause the 1983 Video Game Crash? Michael Leader goes in search of a pop culture myth.
We take stock of the (nearly) complete directorial oeuvre of one of modern cinema’s true masters.
Steven Spielberg’s beloved 1993 movie is about so much more than dinosaurs.