If you have not yet read Ernest Cline’s wonderful book, Ready Player One, you need to do it as soon as possible. An action-adventure mixed in with what can only be described as a loving homage to 80s’ pop culture, director Steven Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation of the book got its San Diego Comic Con debut and it was glorious. Check out the official synopsis for the film:
The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.
Brimming with Easter eggs and references to a decade that delivered classic upon movie classic, we took several steps into the virtual world of OASIS, and dug out as many as we could find in the first trailer for Ready Player One!
For you geeks out there, do note that there has been a conscious effort by Warners and Steven Spielberg to NOT include much of Spielberg’s iconic filmography into the movie. In fact, only the DeLorean time machine from Back To The Future Part II seems to have made an appearance so far (Spielberg produced the trilogy), but do not expect to find ET, Indiana Jones, Close Encounters of the Third Kind or Jaws in the final film.
Featured prominently on the cover of the book, the Stacks is a rundown, impoverished area that has people living in literal stacks on top of one another. This is where we find Wade Watts, our hero, who has his own VR setup to escape into the world of OASIS, the virtual brainchild of James Halliday and Innovative Online Industries (IOI).
Warner Bros. Characters
As Wade/Parzival steps into The Distracted Globe (a zero gravity night club) and Ogden Morrow’s (Simon Pegg) birthday party, he is recognised by both Harley Quinn and Deadshot (Not Deadpool or Deathstroke). We also see Gandalf and supposedly a bunch of other obscured Warner Bros. characters dancing in the club.
The Iron Giant
The lovable and famous Iron Giant is in the film! It plays a huge part in helping Parzival and his allies in the book, and it remains to be seen if Vin Diesel will be reprising the role of the mechanical titan in Ready Player One. The other two figures seen could be Yoshiaki Toshiro/Daito and Karatsu Akihide/Shoto, two characters that ally with Parzival as fellow Gunters (egg-hunters). Whatever the case, the person with the katanas walking up is definitely not Lady Deadpool.
The games of the 80s are a huge part of OASIS, and here we see what appears to be Napoleon himself riding a scorpion from Centipede and engaging attacking warrior ostriches a la Joust from 1982! The ostrich that got eliminated even turns into a giant egg!
Wade’s best friend and ally in OASIS, Aech, makes his appearance as a cybernetically enhanced Orc, wielding what appears to be a rifle from Halo, and taking care of both Freddy Krueger and Duke Nukem, and earning some OASIS currency in the process.
We finally see the Sixers (anyone with an IOI ID number starting with 6), minions of antagonist Sorrento, suiting up and taking part in a crazy race, presumably to find the Easter egg. Not only do we get to see the Plymouth Fury from Stephen King’s Christine, there’s the black van from the A-Team, Mad Max’s Interceptor, a Formula 1 car referencing Pole Position, and the Bigfoot monster truck driven by Aech. Kitana from Mortal Kombat, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, and Dizzy Wallin from Gears of War all appear in this scene as well.
We also catch a glimpse of Art3mis, one of the stars in OASIS and love interest of Parzival, riding Shotaro Kaneda’s bike from Akira, complete with Atari, SEGA, Taito, and Hello Kitty logos.
Our hero Parzival’s mode of transport is the famous Delorean from Back to the Future, and it warms our geek hearts to see that the dates on the time circuits are the same, October 26, 1985!
At the end of the trailer, we are left with the view of the Crystal Key, an important item deeper in the hunt for Halliday’s Easter egg. Seeing that no one has found the first Copper Key for years, this is definitely a teaser for fans and readers of Ready Player One and hints at the treasure lying ahead.
Ready Player One
Even the title of the film is a cool Easter egg, forming a maze that ends off with the egg itself inside the ‘O’.
Pure Imagination/Tom Sawyer
We could not leave out the musical choices for the trailer, with Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory playing when Wade first ventures into OASIS. The tales of both Ready Player One and Willy Wonka are quite similar, with an eccentric and wealthy man leaving an Easter egg/Golden Ticket to be found, and the lead characters even share the same initials, W.W. We also hear Tom Sawyer by the band RUSH during the race scene, with RUSH being the favourite band of OASIS creator James Halliday, cool!
That is all the Easter eggs and references we could find in this amazing first debut trailer for Ready Player One, did you manage to see something we did not? Let us know in the comments and stay hyped for Ready Player One’s big screen appearance!