Here’s a First Look at Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One
In Ready Player One, the future kinda stinks. That is, at least in the real world. One happy escape for just about everyone is OASIS, a virtual reality wonderland where people interact with each other on a daily basis for work and even school. It’s also loaded with ’80s nostalgia thanks to the world’s creator James Halliday (Mark Rylance). Based on what we can see from the first official photo from Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Ernest Cline’s best-selling novel, we don’t blame anyone for wanting stare at something a little more interesting than an organized junk heap.
Featured in Entertainment Weekly’s Comic-Con preview issue, our first look of the upcoming film shows actor Tye Sheridan as the lead character Wade Watts. He’s already diving into OASIS where he’s known as Parzival. He’s in his little “hideout,” which is the interior of an old van where he stores most of his treasured belongings. This is where Wade goes to be alone. At home, shares a small space with his aunt in a little “apartment complex” that is just a stack of trailers where 15 other people live.
There’s extreme wealth in the world, but there is an even bigger gap between the rich an the impoverished. I don’t think there’s even a middle class anymore. After the creator of OASIS, James Halliday, dies, he leaves a very interesting contest for anyone who participates. Whoever solves a series of quests steeped in ’80s-themed pop culture clues will win his entire fortune and estate — OASIS and its parent company Gregarious Games.
OASIS, as it is now in the story, is free to use by anyone (or at the very least dirt cheap — Halliday was a very generous philanthropist). However, if no one else claims the treasure, Halliday’s company will be taken over by Innovative Online Industries, or IOI. If that happens, the digital getaway will be locked away – or at least become too expensive for any regular person to use.
Wade and his friends (whom he’s never met in real life) band together in a race with the rest of the world (and IOI) to find Halliday’s treasure and protect it from anyone who wants to misuse that fortune.
Parzival’s friends and allies include Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), Aech (Lena Waithe), and I-R0k (T.J. Miller). The main antagonist is Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), who is IOI’s murderous chief of Oology (the study of eggs — an inside joke about Easter eggs, which are what the clues are called).
Cline says he wouldn’t be a writer “if I hadn’t grown up on a steady diet of Steven Spielberg movie.”
“His work directly influenced the narrative and the way that I told the story,” Cline said. “So to have him directing, it’s too perfect to even be possible. And somehow it’s happened.”