Recently, a friend recommended a book to me, knowing I was a bit of a sci-fi/video game nerd. Also knowing that I’m not much of a “reader”. (Unless you include reading game menus, and 140 character tweets as “reading”).
That being said – for as long as I can remember, I’ve gobbled up every movie known to man that includes anything related to the future, science, technology, space, etc. It’s sad to admit – but I rarely find (or make) time to read actual books anymore. But, I just “had to read this book” he said.
The book was Ready Player One, author Ernest Cline’s first novel. With most books, it takes me at least a chapter or two to get into the story. But with this book, I was honestly hooked by reading the foreword. The concept of a dystopian society where an aging billionaire nerd-boy hides an easter egg inside of the virtual world he created, to determine who inherits his fortune.. that concept pulled me right in.
Nearly 400 pages and two weeks later, I had finished my first book in awhile. Truly, truly a great read and the definition of a page-turner. For someone that’s obsessed with 80’s music, video games, comic books, and futuristic virtual reality. So basically, nerd paradise. The story centers on a young kid, Wade Watts, living in the stacks (a community of RV homes stacked on top of each other with metal support/ladders separating them). The world is clearly not a good place to live, especially for those with no money. But of course, there’s an escape. The aforementioned billionaire had created a virtual reality that most people spend their time in called the OASIS. Simply put on your VR visor and haptic suit, and plug in to a completely different world.
Every person inside of the OASIS is assigned an avatar, and identities remain anonymous. Wade’s avatar is Parzival, named after the Knight who found the Holy Grail. Which is perfect, since everyone inside of the OASIS is now focused on finding the easter egg left by the deceased creator. Basically, a treasure hunt inside of a video game. Find the key, and you inherit everything.. including control of the OASIS.
I won’t ruin the adventure for you, but if you haven’t read it yet.. pick up Ready Player One. The brief period of time it took me to blaze through the novel, I kept thinking, this would make an incredible movie. Of course, once I finished reading the book and googled it to learn more, I quickly discovered the movie was already in the works. In fact, author Ernest Cline had already come to an agreement with Warner Brothers to sell the rights of the book/produce the movie, before he had even finished writing it. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought it would make an incredible sci-fi movie.
Fans of Ready Player One will still have to wait at least a year to see the movie. While it was originally set to be released on December 15, 2017, the release date was later pushed back to March 30, 2018. Annoying, but smart. Why go head-to-head with Star Wars Episode VII, The Last Jedi when you don’t have to? Oh, and speaking of smart decisions – it was announced awhile back that Steven Spielberg would be directing the movie. The man is clearly capable, having masterminded classics such as Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Jaws, War of the Worlds, Saving Private Ryan etc. His resume speaks for itself. In fact, there are probably very few other directors that fans of Ready Player One would rather have taking on this project. Who else? JJ Abrams, maybe? For me, Spielberg is perfect. Honestly, the only other director I would have even bothered caring about would have been Christopher Nolan. But Ready Player One might not even suit his style. Spielberg’s style? Absolutely.
Over the last few months, we’ve also learned which actors and actresses are filling out the cast.
Tye Sheridan as Wade Watts aka Parzival
Olivia Cooke as Art3mis
Now for Tye’s love interest. TheWrap reported on September 1st, 2015 that Elle Fanning, Lola Kirke and Olivia Cooke were the main candidates for the role of Art3mis. Later on it was confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter that Cooke was cast.
Ben Mendelson as Nolan Serrento?
Ben Mendelson will play the villain role as an IOI executive, likely Nolan Serrento from the book. Perfect. We think Mendelson is a magnificent actor, as evidenced by his work in the Netflix drama Bloodline, and more recently playing the villain in Star Wars Rogue One.
Other notable cast members include Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg and T.J. Miller as James Donovan Halliday, Ogden Morrow and i-R0k respectively. And of course, tasked with the film’s score is none other than the legendary John Williams, a regular presence in Spielberg blockbusters.
Let’s recap – Spielberg, John Williams, Tye Sheridan, Ben Mendelson, and Simon Pegg. This isn’t anything other than a blockbuster. As a huge fan of the book, I’m thrilled that the film adaptation is being taken seriously, and seems to be in good hands. I’m also excited, for the first time possibly ever – to be able to shame people and say “Yeah but the book is better”. While I hope that isn’t the case, the book really was incredible.
The story is certainly not that unique but the production quality and direction of Steven Spielberg will surely make it a worth-watching movie.
Not too long ago, the first few pictures from the sets of Ready Player One – The Movie emerged on Twitter showing us just a glimpse of what we can expect. Definitely a fair amount of modified, weaponized vehicles and graffiti in the pictures. Classic dystopian future scenery. These particular pictures are from Birmingham, England where the shooting is taking place. These pictures also reveal that this part of the production is more real world presentation in the movie, whereas the virtual OASIS world will naturally be built with heavy amounts of CG. I can’t wait to see what Spielberg can do with 2017 CGI, and the futuristic version.
Pictures from the set of Ready Player One The Movie
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Ready Player One The Movie; Spielberg’s direction, a quality cast, and a story worth telling. It’s certainly frustrating that we have to wait another full year to see it, but I for one, can’t wait.