Steven Spielberg has been filming his adaptation of the novel Ready Player One for the better part of a month now, well ahead of the movie’s March 2018 premiere. Based on the popular book by Ernest Cline, it tells the story of players of the virtual reality game Oasis who embark on an Easter egg hunt that leads to its late founder’s vast fortune. Being a Spielberg project, it isn’t surprising that it attracted a noteworthy cast that includes the likes of Tye Sheridan, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, and Spielberg’s new muse Mark Rylance.

Since the film still has a ways to go before its release, Warner Bros. is in no rush to begin officially marketing Ready Player One. However, being an anticipated work in the 21st century, there were bound to be eyes on the filming locations anxious for a look of what the director has in store. Now, some set images have been posted, highlighting the dystopian setting of the universe.

Coming courtesy of Twitter user I Choose Birmingham, the pictures showcase how the area of Digbeth has been altered to portray the year 2044, which in the source material is when an energy crisis leads to economic stasis and widespread social issues. The dirtied up vehicles (and some of the captions) clearly illustrate that the real world is a little worse for wear, which is why Oasis is so appealing to many. Check out the photos below:

The Ready Player One novel received much praise upon its printing for a story built on a sense of entertainment and heart, which are qualities that define much of Spielberg’s filmography, particularly his earlier movies from the 1970s and 1980s. Cline actually made several references to some of those seminal works in the book, but Spielberg has stated he cut most of them from the movie adaptation (save for a few, like the Back to the Future DeLorean). Regardless, the legendary filmmaker should still be a perfect fit for this story, since the tone matches the old school action/adventure flicks Spielberg built his reputation on. It’s been a while since the director worked in that realm, so several viewers will be excited to see him return to his roots.

In addition to thrilling set pieces, many of Spielberg’s genre pictures are known for their substance, and Ready Player One shouldn’t disappoint in that area either. Last year, he referred to the narrative as a “crystal ball” that details where society is heading (where smartphones and social media have consumed our lives). According to Spielberg, his film will serve as a “cautionary tale” that shows audiences what they’re missing by not living in the real world. As long as that commentary isn’t too on-the-nose (since the novel also examines the positive aspects of technology), it should prove to be a fascinating exploration of the modern zeitgeist that’s fun to watch as well. Spielberg still knows how to make a standout film, so hopefully Ready Player One can be reminiscent of his iconic movies that influenced many around the world.

Ready Player One opens in U.S. theaters March 30, 2018.

Source: I Choose Birmingham