A new featurette for Spielberg’s Ready Player One — adapted from Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name — released Sunday. The video opens on a brief montage of Spielberg’s greatest work: There’s Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and others. Ernest Cline says over the scenes, “I could not have written Ready Player One if I had not grown up on a steady diet of Steven Spielberg movies.”
As much as Ready Player One serves as a cautionary tale for a future plagued by global warming and resource scarcity — and our reliance of new technologies for distraction — the story’s also characterized by its nostalgic worship of 1980s culture, a time period that Spielberg himself defined through many of his movies.
Spielberg speaks about Cline’s work with a similar degree of reverence, “When I read Ready Player One, … I suddenly saw a future that Ernest Cline … envisioned. It wasn’t that far away from what I think is going to happen someday.” What does that future look like?
“There’s a dystopian society and the fabric of our economy is crumbling,” Spielberg explains. “It’s a good time to escape, so virtual reality will be a superdrug.” That’s the future presented by Ready Player One.
Ready Player One takes in place in Columbus, Ohio in 2045 — sort of — because much of the action takes place inside the VR digital world known as the “Oasis.” Protagonist Wade Owen Watts (Tye Sheridan) calls his generation the “missing millions” because he, like most of his peers, essentially grew up in the Oasis as opposed to real life. Oppressed by a bleak and miserable world, its people turn to VR for their education, entertainment, and pleasure.
Could that be the reality we all share soon enough? Steven Spielberg seems to think so.
Ready Player One will be released in theaters March 30, 2018.
Watch the official trailer for Ready Player One right here: