You couldn’t ask for a better director than Steven Spielberg to helm an adaptation of Ernie Cline’s novel Ready Player One. Set in a virtual world known as OASIS, the book is a fountain of geeky Easter eggs and a love letter to the films and games of the 1980s, of which Spielberg had a small part.
In this story, the founder of the OASIS dies, but before he does, he leaves behind three Easter eggs of his own. The gamer who finds all three will get control of the entire system. One such gamer, Wade Watts, joins in the search, and along with new friends and allies, races to discover all the clues before a major corporation — that wants control of the OASIS for itself — does.
The film hits theaters on March 30th, 2018.
Apr 19, 2018
When Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One was published in 2011, the reviews were ecstatic, beatific. It was an “enchanting,” “accessible” “nerdgasm” full of “fascinating social commentary” that one critic claimed was “the best science fiction novel I’ve read in a decade.”Read Article >
The book imagined America in the 2040s entirely through the lens of the 1980s, or at least a narrow sliver of the era: the formative video games, movies, and other nerd-friendly pop culture for the people who came of age during this particular decade. As the novel’s world descends into chaos and poverty, thanks to climate change and a fossil-fuel crisis, most of its citizens spend their days traversing the OASIS, a virtual reality world created by an “eccentric” ‘80s kid named James Halliday.
Apr 9, 2018
On April 4th, film trade outlets broke the news that Wrath of the Titans screenwriter Dan Mazeau has been hired to write a screenplay for Armada, the second novel by Ready Player One author Ernest Cline. The possibility of an Armada movie isn’t breaking news; Cline sold the film rights to Universal in 2012, within a week of selling the book rights to Crown, a full three years before the novel was even published. But the trades are taking Mazeau’s hiring as clear evidence that Armada is actually moving forward as a project, likely due to the financial success of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One adaptation, the first Spielberg film to make $300 million in international release since 2011.Read Article >
Ready Player One isn’t just headed for financial success, though. It’s become the kind of legitimate conversation piece that makes studios salivate. Film fans may love Cline’s books or hate them, but odds are that they know his name and have an opinion about him, and even people with no intention of ever seeing Ready Player One are aware of it. That kind of cultural saturation (achieved in this case through aggressive, widespread marketing as much as anything else) is always a blessing to film studios that are competing for audience attention and focus.
Mar 30, 2018
Fans tend to either love or hate Ernest Cline’s bestselling 2011 novel Ready Player One. There are legitimate reasons for both reactions. On the love side: it’s a light, airy pop confection, crammed with familiar cultural references, which Cline recontextualizes in surprising ways. On the hate side: the prose can be extremely clumsy, as it is in this paragraph where teenage protagonist Wade Watts describes the virtual car he constructed for himself in the vast online world where he spends most of his waking hours:Read Article >
That’s a lot of awkward verbiage to say two pretty basic things: people in virtual reality can express their personal tastes through their avatars in hyper-specific ways, and Cline is so obsessed with the culture of the 1980s — the geek-fodder of his youth — that he thinks it’s compelling even in the form of a shopping list. The book is a fast-paced adventure, but this kind of unwieldy lump of mix-and-match nostalgia acts as a roadblock. There’s no attempt to consider why Wade finds these specific objects appealing, out of the billion options available to him. The book assumes up front that readers find everything in this list as unbearably cool as Cline does, and that just running down an exhaustive list of Wade’s favorite things is enough to make him appealing, relatable, and enviable.
Mar 11, 2018
Making a tie-in video game for Ready Player One fans seems like a maddening task.Read Article >
After all, what does it mean to be a fan of Ready Player One, a piece of pop culture designed as a wrapper for other, often better pop culture? Does it mean being invested in the journey of digital treasure-hunter Wade Watts and his effort to protect the virtual reality world known as OASIS? Or is it more about enjoying its mashup of reference points, like DeLoreans, WarGames, and Rush?
Mar 11, 2018
Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernie Cline’s science fiction novel Ready Player One is due to hit theaters on March 29th, but synthwave band GUNSHIP beat him to the punch with the video to their latest single, “Art3mis & Parzival”.Read Article >
Opening with a short explanation for the world, the song is about the relationship between the book’s two characters, Wade Watts (Parzival) and Samantha Cook (Art3mis), and their lives in the OASIS. The band released a video for the song, which turns out to be a pretty close adaptation of the book, following the pair as they play in the virtual world, search for clues in a massive easter egg hunt, and fend off the minions of an evil corporation bent on controlling the virtual world.
Mar 6, 2018
The advertising for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which hits theaters on March 29th, treads a weird tonal line. Most of it presents the story of pop culture-obsessed future teenager Wade Watts as cool and exciting. But occasionally, the marketing feels like a surprisingly cutting takedown of the film’s own premise. And I’m not sure where its newest promotional stunt, a series of elaborate movie poster mashups, is supposed to fall.Read Article >
If you’re not familiar with Ready Player One, it’s set primarily in a virtual world called the OASIS, essentially a giant VR amalgamation of 20th century pop culture. So, naturally, the new images re-create iconic film posters using the virtual avatars of Ready Player One’s various characters. (You can see a full roundup at Slashfilm.) Half of them look like they’re advertising some kind of pseudo-anime remake of Bullitt or The Lost Boys — they’re conceptually silly, but seamlessly made, like so:
Mar 2, 2018
A big appeal of Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One was its reverence toward the pop culture of the 1980s, from movies to video games. As the big-screen Steven Spielberg adaptation inches closer to theaters, the marketing masterminds at Warner Bros. have been tapping into that nostalgia with Easter egg-filled trailers, and now there’s an online arcade with a number of vintage games to play.Read Article >
Ready Player One takes place nearly 30 years in the future, where the real world has fallen into dystopic disrepair, and citizens find refuge in a massive, interconnected online world known as the OASIS. When the creator of the system dies, he leaves behind a treasure hunt, where fans can solve puzzles and clues based on ‘80s pop culture in order to win the grand prize: control of the OASIS itself. The marketing campaign for the film has followed suit, using QR codes to unlock hidden featurettes, and dropping riddles on Twitter that, when solved, allow fans to unlock the various games.
Jan 22, 2018
With just a couple of months to go before Ready Player One hits theaters, Warner Bros. has released a new featurette that looks at the ties between Ernest Cline’s novel and Steven Spielberg’s films of the 1980s.Read Article >
The featurette opens with scenes from some of Spielberg’s iconic films: Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and others. Cline adds that he never would have been able to write his book without Spielberg’s influence. The filmmaker returns the favor, saying that he thinks the book is glimpse into our future, depicting a population living in a virtual space.
Dec 10, 2017
We got our first look at Steven Spielberg’s next big science fiction movie Ready Player One at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year, and today, Warner Bros. released a new trailer on Facebook Live, with author Ernie Cline answering questions about the origins of the story.Read Article >
Based Ernie Cline’s debut novel, Ready Player One is set in a dystopian world where almost everyone spends a majority of their time in a virtual reality system known as OASIS, where players can visit any conceivable world (allowing the book to mash up an incredible number of ‘80s pop culture references). The trailer opens with Wade Watts (played by The Tree of Life / X-Men: Apocalypse star Tye Sheridan) saying that he got his name because his father thought that it sounded like a superhero name. He then talks about OASIS, which allows people to do anything, and that people stay because they can become anyone.
Jul 26, 2017
The Stranger Things and Ready Player One trailers are the best and worst of nostalgia-driven marketing
At the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, audiences got their first look at two highly anticipated geek-culture properties. Stranger Things, Netflix’s ode to Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, got a second season trailer exploring the show’s expanding mythos, set to the iconic sounds of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” And Spielberg himself took to Comic-Con’s Hall H stage to reveal a teaser for Ready Player One, his adaptation of Ernest Cline’s best-selling pop-culture treasure-hunt adventure.Read Article >
At first glance, they were perfect pieces of marketing for the Comic-Con crowds, both relying on the nostalgic pull that serves as the foundation for so much modern fandom. Stranger Things’ imagery of kids wearing Ghostbusters costumes, set to Vincent Price’s “Thriller” voiceover, seemed right in line with Ready Player One’s parade of DeLorean car chases, Freddy Krueger cameos, and Iron Giant reveals. But sit with both teasers for a while, and it quickly becomes clear that they aren’t the same thing at all. If there’s a right way and a wrong way to use nostalgia, these two trailers exemplify the opposing ends of the spectrum — raising the question of whether the makers of the Ready Player One adaptation even understand why the book worked in the first place.
Jul 22, 2017
Today at San Diego Comic Con, Warner Bros. released the first trailer for its upcoming film Ready Player One, and like the novel it’s based on, it’s loaded down with references to everything geek culture loves.Read Article >
The trailer begins with Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) describing his life in the Stacks. He’s a part of a generation known as the missing millions, but he and those around him found solace in a virtual world known as OASIS. In that world, it’s possible to meet the Iron Giant and fight Freddy Krueger himself.
Mar 18, 2016
Simon Pegg is in talks to join the cast of Steven Spielberg's sci-fi film Ready Player One, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, an adaptation of Ernest Cline's fiction novel of the same name, is set in the year 2044, when everyone spends a majority of their time in a virtual reality world called the Oasis to escape from poverty, famine, wars, and other real-world conflicts. Pegg is said to play Ogden Morrow, a co-creator of the Oasis, and joins stars Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke, who both play talented Oasis users who participant in a treasure hunt of sorts architected by Morrow's fellow co-founder.Read Article >
Pegg has become a regular fixture in high-profile sci-fi and fantasy films for years now, landing as Scotty on J.J. Abrams' Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness and as the unforgettable Unkar Plutt on Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (Pegg is also a co-writer on Star Trek Beyond, which comes out this summer.) In an interesting twist, Ready Player One's theatrical release was pushed by three months to March 2018 because it would have run up against Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII. Disney pushed the as-of-yet untitled Star Wars installment back by six months earlier this year, effectively dropping a box-office bomb on the countless other December 2017 contenders.
Feb 9, 2016
I was really into the novel Ready Player One. I was also really into the news that Steven Spielberg was directing a movie adaptation (so was author Ernest Cline). And then I got really excited when I saw that it wasn't floating around in development purgatory, but was going to be released at the end of next year. And so I scrolled forward to December of 2017 in my calendar and marked the day, as I am sometimes wont to do, in all-caps: THIS IS THE DAY THE READY PLAYER ONE MOVIE COMES OUT.Read Article >
But then Star Wars had to step in. Rian Johnson's as-of-yet untitled Episode VIII, originally slated to debut in May of next year, decided to push its release until December, instead. It wasn't due to problems, said the various reports, but rather to emphasize the roles of the new characters even further — not to mention set up December as the annual Star Wars box office demolition derby, as the franchise rolls out Rogue One this December, Episode VIII next December, the young Han Solo movie the December after that, and then capping off the new trilogy with Colin Trevorrow's Episode IX (before another spin-off movie comes out the following year).
Aug 6, 2015
Armada may already be out, but Ernest Cline fans now have a new date to look forward to: the movie adaptation of Ready Player One is scheduled for release on December 15th, 2017. Back in March it was announced that Steven Spielberg would be directing the film version of the popular sci-fi novel, but when someone has a scheduled as packed as Spielberg things tend to shift around quite a bit. With a confirmed release date, however, it appears that the movie is moving forward quickly after the director completes his next project, the Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG.Read Article >
Ready Player One is a sci-fi action-adventure pop culture mash-up, set in a future dystopia in which all humanity spends its time in an elaborate VR simulation called The Oasis. When the creator of the simulation dies, it's announced that he has hidden an Easter egg deep within the virtual world, and whoever is able to discover it will inherent his entire company and fortune. In his efforts to find the egg, the lead character Parzival has to go through a series of challenges, all of which riff directly on '80s pop culture movies, TV shows, music, and video games. (The Back to the Future series, which Spielberg produced, also plays a minor role.)
Mar 25, 2015
The long-gestating Ready Player One movie has a director, and it's one perfectly suited to a story full of 1980s references: Steven Spielberg. Deadline reports that he'll take on the film after the Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG.Read Article >
Written by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One takes place in a dystopian future where everyone jacks into an artificial VR world known as OASIS. After its creator dies, people discover that an elaborate easter egg has been left somewhere inside OASIS, and whoever finds the prize first inherits the creator's entire estate. Central to the search for the easter egg are a litany of pop culture references, many focused around the 1980s. A number of Spielberg films, and the filmmaker himself, are all referenced in the book, opening up the opportunity for a self-referential film that seems right in line with the source material.
Mar 14, 2015
In Ernest Cline's 2011 novel Ready Player One, the narrator enters the virtual reality world of OASIS to visit a hollow planet filled with thousands of simulated arcades. "Archaide" contains a copy of every coin-operated game ever made, all on perfect simulations of the original cabinet. That's not the kind of thing we'll see any time soon, but if you go online right this minute, you can play thousands of classic arcade, Atari, and MS-DOS games, emulated in a web browser and hosted by the Internet Archive.Read Article >
The similarity between these things apparently hasn't been lost on the world. In a panel at SXSW, Internet Archive curator Jason Scott said he'd been asked if Ready Player One inspired his work. Cline, his co-panelist, used emulated versions of games like Pac-Man to research his novel, and even watched Scott's documentaries about interactive fiction and BBS communities to immerse himself in the past. Their panel explored the links between OASIS and the Internet Archive, including the latter's value as a guide to the densely packed '80s pop culture references of Ready Player One. "Kids who were not even alive in the '80s will read it, and for them it's a multimedia experience," says Cline. "Any game that's mentioned in Ready Player One, you can pull that game up instantly and play it." By proxy, Ready Player One can become a guide to the Internet Archive. In the larger world of VR, OASIS has become convenient shorthand for a giant immersive world.
Jun 24, 2014
Hollywood screenwriter Zak Penn already has an impressive resume, with credits for The Avengers and X-Men: The Last Stand. Earlier this month, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro announced that he and Penn would be collaborating on a script for the sequel to robots-versus-aliens blockbuster Pacific Rim. Now, it looks like Penn will also be rewriting the script for the film adaptation of the novel Ready Player One.Read Article >
The Ernest Cline book, about a teen's romp through cyberspace, has been in production for some time — Warner Bros. bought the movie rights before the novel was published — although a director has yet to be attached to the project. Pacific Rim 2, meanwhile, hasn't even officially received the green light, so we're a while away from seeing the end result of Penn's work. Regardless, it seems he'll have a major part in crafting the sci-fi universes of a summer not so far away.