I’ve been a fan of Ernie Cline’s book, Ready Player One, for a few years now. The book is a fast read with fun characters, an exciting plot, a very realistic (yet still fantastical) look into our personal future and it’s full of just about every huge geeky/fanboy reference you can throw into 384 pages.
Now, there were a few references that hit me RIGHT in the heart. Oh sure, everyone can reference Star Wars, Firefly, Star Trek etc. But when you have the final battle contain characters that can become Ultraman and people who can pilot the Japanese Spider-Man robot, you’re speaking my fanboy language.
If you haven’t read the book here’s the synopsis….
” In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.”
For fun, here’s some artwork that Erine commissioned while he was still writing the book to help him be motivated to keep writing it.
There’s even MORE great art on this Ain’t It Cool News article that was posted back in 2011. (Click HERE to see it)
The film’s rights were bought even before the book came out, and it’s been in development since 2011.
For a movie like this, I really only had one director in mind. Is it a shock that director is named Edgar Wright? His understanding of pop culture is one of the big reasons, but he’s just one of the best and most imaginative filmmakers around.
His name was included in a rumored list of potential directors that included Christopher Nolan (who would have been the wrong man for this one, in my opinion.), Matthew Vaughn (he would have been fun.), Peter Jackson (Who I think needs to take a LONG break from big budgeted movies..again, that’s my opinion.) and Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis would have been a real treat to me. He hasn’t directed a big fun commercial film like this in ages and ANY excuse for him to reunite with the Delorean from Back to the Future would have been GLORIOUS. (and if you haven’t read the book… yes…of course THAT car is the book!)
However, there was one name that wasn’t on that list. It was a person I never even considered to be an option. Today that they announced the director of Ready Player One would be….
Well….damn. I did NOT see that coming.
As the co-host of the Steven Spielberg podcast (Benview on Spielberg if you haven’t listened to it yet!) this just got me really excited for the possibilities of the flick. One of my biggest concerns with the film is all the licensed characters that are in the book. But thankfully Warner Brothers had a very similar situation with The Lego Movie and worked out a deal with that film. Also, Steven Spielberg STILL has that power to make impossible deals happen (well…most deals. Read here on how even Spielberg can’t get a new film based on The Last Starfighter off the ground.)
As a filmmaker, much like Zemeckis, Spielberg hasn’t made a live action huge crowd-pleaser in years. And there’s something special about him doing this one. It’s funny to for me to think about Spielberg directing a movie that has spaceships from his friend ,George Luca’s films and the time traveling car from his pal Zemeckis movies. In a weird way, you can almost view this movie as Spielberg looking back on the decade that defined his career forever and paying homage to it in this film.
As for the hard core video game angle on the film? Does Spielberg even play video games? Apparently he’s been a gamer as long as video games have been around and still plays to this day. Check out this pretty great picture….
Yes sir, Spielberg is the nerds nerd.
Sadly, my reality button has to be turned on for a second. Spielberg signs up on a LOT of movies, and a good amount of those he ends up dropping. This one could every well be one of those flicks. (And if that happens…once again…EDGAR WRIGHT….call him.)
Right now, I’m excited about him doing this. But you know who’s MORE excited?
Ready Player One author Ernie Cline.
Guess what? Steven Spielberg is going to direct Ready Player One! And I'm going to have a massive coronary. http://t.co/IWILQQTV3a
— Ernie Cline (@erniecline) March 25, 2015