T.J. Miller is best known for playing the insufferably arrogant stoner would-be tech mogul Erlich Bachman on HBO’s Silicon Valley, but now the actor is branching out and becoming a major presence in blockbuster action movies as well. Miller brought his particular brand of wise-cracking comedy to 2016’s Deadpool as Wade Wilson’s sidekick Weasel, a role he is set to reprise in Deadpool 2. In addition to his on-going participation in the Deadpool franchise, Miller has a gig lined up in the highly anticipated Steven Spielberg dystopian VR-set action movie Ready Player One.
In Ready Player One, a group of hardcore gamers obsessed with an MMO called OASIS compete to find a final Easter egg left behind after the death of the game’s legendary designer. The movie is based on a novel by Ernest Cline, and stars Miller alongside Simon Pegg, Spielberg regular Mark Rylance, Olivia Cooke, and Ben Mendelsohn.
In an interview with Fandango, Miller gave up some details about the character he plays in Ready Player One, revealing that his is the only major character in the film who is not based on a character from the original novel:
“I’m not in the book. Some plot points are different, but I’m the only new character. I play i-R0k and basically I am a funny, or at least mildly amusing, Boba Fett. In the OASIS, I am a better player than Aech or Daito or any of those guys. I am sort of unequivocally the best bounty hunter, but I work freelance. While all the Sixers work for IOI and Sorrento [Mendelsohn], he has to commission me and I get an incredibly high fee to either find people and kill them or make them starve in the game.”
Miller talked about something he has in common with his character i-Rok, namely his love of Boba Fett, that most enigmatic of Star Wars villains. He then discussed the hard work he put into capturing Boba Fett’s voice, and revealed that he like many other folks didn’t appreciate George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels:
“My character in the movie wants to be Boba Fett. Like that’s his hero, his idol, which isn’t far off for many Star Wars fans, myself included.
I actually mimicked Boba Fett’s voice. And in the original Star Wars he only ever speaks four or five times in the movies, so I could only learn from ‘What about me? He’s no good to me dead.’ And then ‘As you wish.’ And I used the British actor’s voice instead of the f***ing Australian’s from the prequels – Lucas, you son of a bitch! – and so, I think it’s actually a really fun character.”
A handful of images have made their way out from the set of Ready Player One, teasing the film’s extensive use of Mo-Cap technology (a full 40 percent of the film reportedly takes place inside VR and that was all filmed using Mo-Cap) and its retro approach to depicting a dystopian future. With Spielberg at the helm, the film is sure to be visually spectacular at the very least. Whether its story, a cross between Tron and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, will work on-screen is something that remains to be seen.