After a first look at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con, the first full trailer for Ready Player One premiered this weekend. Author Ernest Cline brought the footage to the theater in his hometown – Austin, Texas’ Alamo Drafthouse – and livestreamed it (with a post-roll Q&A) for fans around the world on the film’s Facebook page.
“If Willy Wonka was a game designer instead of a candy maker, holding his golden ticket contest on the world’s biggest video game, that’s kind of the essence of what the story is,” Cline said.
For those unfamiliar with Cline’s bestseller, Ready Player One is the story of a child who grows up in the near future and dreams of an escape from his life in a huge, dystopian trailer park. Our hero Wade Watts finds true happiness only in The OASIS, a massive multiplayer VR world where he can indulge his love of 80s pop culture. (See flashes of The Iron Giant, BattletoadsLara Croft, Chun-Li, overwatch characters, and much, much more.)
As the trailer reveals, the creator of The OASIS (like any great game developer) has hidden an Easter Egg in this world. The first person to find that secret stands to earn a boatload of money and control over the Oasis platform itself. Watts soon finds himself up against business leaders who throw many, many resources into this quest, given the economic (and real power) benefits of running The OASIS.
A nostalgia reference feast combined with a kind of gaming Matrix doesn’t automatically make a great movie, but hopes are high, considering 80s pop culture master Steven Spielberg signed on to mentor long ago Ready player one. Keeping an eye on the plot through the reference trees will be vital to making this story jump from page to screen successfully, but all the licensed characters that even appear in this short trailer give us confidence that many of what people likes in the book will be fully represented here. (Cline also helped screenwriter Zak Penn, or X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand, straight away make the story.)
“I wasn’t sure if you could have a Mecha Godzilla fight Ultra Man and get away with it and not be forgotten, but that was the amazing thing with Steven Spielberg coming on board,” Cline said. “The example I always used was Who framed Roger Rabbit, because they managed to get a lot of different properties in one movie. That was Steven Spielberg, and with… Ready Player One he made that happen. We couldn’t get everything we wanted, but we got the vast majority… It’s amazing how many people want to include their IP in a Spielberg movie.”
In the Q&A, Cline went on to say that the characters in this first wave of images represent just “the tip of the iceberg” and that “even Michael Crichton on the set of Jurassic Park couldn’t be so happy to see this world come alive.” Ready Player One version that fans will get on March 30, 2018 looks very much approved by the creator.
If you’re trying to keep up with the onslaught of trailers creeping in before a new year deadline, Teaser Technica has you covered with Batman Ninja, Altered Carbon, a full-motion video game from WarGames, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (plus at least mentions of Black Mirror S4, Alita, and a new animated Spiderman with Miles Morales).