The home release of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One has just been announced by Warner Bros, with the film coming to digital on July 3 and on Blu-Ray just two weeks later on July 24.
Spielberg’s return to sci-fi blockbusters was initially met with pre-release backlash based on its nostalgia-fueled marketing, but received praise upon its theatrical release in March. After a string of history-based films - including Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, and The Post - Spielberg returned to the genre he perfected - with E.T., Minority Report, and A.I., among countless others - to adapt Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel of the same name.
As revealed by Warner Bros., the film will be released in three physical versions on July 24: 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray 3D Combo Pack ($44.95), Blu-Ray Combo Pack ($35.99), and DVD ($28.98). The 4K version of the film will feature Dolby Vision HDR, a feature that expands the color palette, and a remixed Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The Blu-Ray packs include a number of special features, including effects and sound breakdowns on “Effects for a Brave New World” and “Level Up: Sound for the Future”. Additional features will explore author Ernest Cline and actor Tye Sheridan’s relationship in “Ernie & Tye’s Excellent Adventure” and “The 80’s: You’re the Inspiration.” The digital version will be available July 3 for iTunes, Vudu, and Google, with release on other VOD services on the 24th.
Spielberg’s film followed Cline’s novel closely by focusing on gamers Wade Watts/Parzival (Tye Sheridan) and Samantha/Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) as they competed in the virtual world of the OASIS, completing tasks with their clan - the High Five - in hopes of finding the ultimate easter egg left by OASIS founder James Halliday (Mark Rylance), and taking over the company he left behind before Halliday’s evil protege Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) can get to it.
Part of the allure of Ready Player One was the sheer mass of effects and easter eggs thrown into the film, so revisiting it in 4K or even on regular Blu-Ray would definitely be an optimal way to rewatch the film. While perhaps not as well regarded as his previous forays into the sci-fi genre, Ready Player One was at its best when it focused on the escapist quest that Wade’s clan goes on - including a particularly memorable set piece taking place in The Shining’s Overlook Hotel - and stumbled when trying to address the social issues plaguing Spielberg’s imagined 2045. Still, Ready Player One showed Spielberg’s typical restrained competence behind the camera, and fans will definitely want to check it out in 4k.
Source: Warner Bros.