Ready Player One's Blu-ray release comes with over 90 minutes of bonus content that reveal much more about the OASIS, the story, the novel, and the film's production. The Ready Player One movie - which was based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ernest Cline - was co-written by Cline and The Avengers screenwriter Zak Penn and directed by legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg. After spending several years in development, it finally hit theaters earlier this year, grossing $582 million at the worldwide box office.
Starring Tye Sheridan as Wade Watts/Parzival and Olivia Cooke as Samantha Cook/Art3mis, Ready Player One takes place in 2045 and sees most of the world engaged in a virtual reality video game called the OASIS. One of the game's co-creators, James Halliday (Mark Rylance), created a quest before he died - a quest involving three hidden keys that lead to an Easter egg - which would grant its winner control over the OASIS. Although audiences are used to seeing CGI-filled movies nowadays, Ready Player One faced several challenges bringing that virtual world to life, especially in a way that was believable and intriguing. Judging by the film's reaction, it seems they succeeded - but there's a lot to the story behind Ready Player One that people don't know about.
Ready Player One's Blu-ray release came with multiple featurettes that covered everything from the inspiration for the novel to the film's music. While there is a lot for fans to peruse through on their own, here is a list of everything we learned from the home video release:
- Ready Player One was one of the hardest movies Steven Spielberg ever had to make.
- Spielberg was fascinated by the two worlds: the real world and the OASIS. That's why he wanted to make the movie.
- Ernest Cline was originally inspired to write the Ready Player One novel because of the Atari game Adventure, in which video game designer Warren Robinett created the first virtual Easter egg.
- Cline says the idea for a story that revolved around finding Easter eggs was inspired by Willy Wonka from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book. "One day I had the idea, 'What if Willy Wonka had been a video game designer instead of a candy maker? What if he held his Golden Ticket contest inside his greatest video game creation?'"
- Spielberg thinks of the OASIS as the new Old West, a world in which there are a set of laws but society allows for social empowerment, to be anyone you want to be. Then there's also the chaos factor.
- Cline originally wrote a script for a Ready Player One movie before the novel was even published. Development on the movie adaptation began about a year before Ready Player One the novel hit store shelves in 2011.
- The Ready Player One title came from old arcade games that Cline used to play, in which the game would state, "Ready, player one."
- Screenwriter Zak Penn originally passed on Ready Player One because he thought it was "unmakeable," but thanks to producer Donald De Line's persistence, Penn eventually signed on for the project and co-wrote the script alongside Ernest Cline.
- Spielberg enjoyed the casting process on Ready Player One because he got to work with young actors who haven’t done a plethora of films before, which allowed them to experiment more with the characters. It took them the longest time to find the right person to play Wade Watts.
- Cline was part of Ready Player One’s development every step of the way, and he says the movie is certainly respectful of his book but is told in a “cinematic and engaging” way.
- Ready Player One production designer Adam Stockhausen and costume designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone really had to design two different movies for two different worlds: a paradise OASIS and a post-apocalyptic-esque real world.
- Sixer uniforms in the movie were created by looking trends and advancements in fashion, technology, and medical science, and then anticipating what those trends would look like in 20+ years. By doing that, Walicka-Maimone augmented designs, such as designs for haptic gear, that are currently available today.
- About 60% of the entire movie takes place in the OASIS. In fact, all of the scenes in the OASIS were shot first, most of which were filmed on H Stage at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in England - a studio famous for housing all of the Harry Potter films.
- The cast felt like they were in a rehearsal space while performing mo-cap. In fact, one of the few things that they had in the space was a barebones DeLorean - just the frame of it that would later be animated into the Back to the Future DeLorean.
- T.J Miller modeled his character i-R0k off Star Wars' Boba Fett.
- Spielberg said making Ready Player One was like making 4 movies, due to everything involved with the motion-capture, camera capture, the V-cam tent, shooting the live-action portions, and so forth.
- Spielberg used a handset to take virtual shots inside Digital Domain’s virtual set of the OASIS. In the end, Spielberg had taken over 6,500 shots.
- Ready Player One's real-world scenes were all shot on film, which the cast all found exciting because they shot everything else digitally through motion-capture.
- Spielberg wanted to work with Ben Mendelsohn on a movie - any movie - after seeing him in the Netflix TV show Bloodline.
- Cline helped create The Shining sequence, and everyone thought it was a wonderful idea to include. The production team tirelessly attempted to recreate certain aspects of the movie in great detail, such as the twins. The sequence even got a stamp of approval from Stanley Kubrick’s family, namely Christiane Kubrick and Jan Harlan.
- In the movie, access to the OASIS is free for everyone, but it costs 25 cents for the initial sign-up fee.
- The OASIS is enormous: there are 27 sectors (cube-shaped areas) in the game, each consisting of thousands of planets. The map of the OASIS resembles a Rubik's Cube because of this, and the game's main hub is located on the planet Incipio.
- On set, there were 90 functioning OASIS rigs inside the Sixer war room at IOI headquarters. While they couldn't enter the OASIS - obviously - extras were able to move around freely on the platform as seen in the movie.
- Nolan Sorrento’s Sixer number - they’re called Sixers because their employee numbers are all six digits and start with the number six - is on a locker in the Sixer war room; it’s 655321, which is Alex DeLarge’s prisoner number from A Clockwork Orange.
- Talenthouse Art Works held a digital art contest, having people submit their own personal avatars for the project, and the winner, Introducing C, had their avatar featured in the selfie scene with Parzival at The Distracted Globe.
- The face of Daito's avatar is a digital scan of iconic Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune.
- John Williams was originally supposed to score Ready Player One, but Spielberg needed him to do The Post, which is why Alan Silvestri ended up joining the project. Spielberg chose Silvestri because he thought the composer was the only other person who could accomplish what he wanted. Plus, it helped that the two had previously worked together on Back to the Future, which Spielberg produced.
Regardless of what audiences and critics think about the movie itself, it's clear that Ready Player One's production was rather unique, especially compared to the average blockbuster film. All of the technology and the tactics that went into bring the OASIS to life on the big screen - including everything from the character designs to the filming approach - and coupling all that with each and every reference and Easter egg in the movie, not to mention handling all the rights to those Easter eggs, is truly astounding.
Now that they've managed to succeed in developing the first movie, the question is, will there be a sequel? Cline is currently working on a Ready Player One sequel novel, which could theoretically be adapted onto the big screen not long after it hits store shelves (whenever it does). Given how enthusiastic Spielberg and his team were about making the first movie, perhaps they would also consider returning for what people are calling Ready Player Two.
Ready Player One is now available on Blu-ray and digital HD.