The new trailer for Ready Player One spotlights more of the futuristic virtual reality-based adventure from Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film. Based on the 2011 sci-fi novel of the same name by Ernest Cline (who shares writing credit for Spielberg’s adaptation with Zak Penn), Ready Player One takes place in the year 2045 and features Tye Sheridan – of Mud and X-Men: Apocalypse fame – as its young protagonist, Wade Owen Watts.
In the dystopian setting of Ready Player One, most people spend their days away from the real world – itself on the brink of collapse due to factors like overpopulation and global warming – by playing games in the virtual world of OASIS instead. Created by the eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), OASIS is a digital universe heavily informed by the pop culture of the past and thus populated by many a movie, TV and/or video game icon of the 1980s and 1990s. Upon his death, Halliday leaves behind one final game for the players of OASIS – an Easter Egg hunt that will grant the winner full ownership of OASIS, as well as Halliday’s billion dollar fortune.
Warner Bros. Pictures has now released a new trailer for Spielberg’s adaptation that, like the Ready Player One San Diego Comic-Con teaser from this past summer, is packed with shiny visuals, as well as cameos by famous ’80s and ’90s pop cult icons that reside within OASIS. The trailer also delves deeper than its predecessor into Wade Watts’ story and touches upon his relationship with another frequent OASIS player, in the form of Samantha Evelyn Cook (Olivia Cooke) – better known by her user name, Art3mis.
In addition to Sheridan, Cooke, and Rylance – who won an Oscar for his performance in Spielberg’s historical drama Bridge of Spies and then starred in the filmmaker’s Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG – the cast of Ready Player One includes Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), as well as T.J. Miller (Deadpool), Simon Pegg (Star Trek Beyond), Hannah John-Kamen (Killjoys), and Letitia Wright (Black Panther) in either leading roles or as key supporting players in the movie’s version of OASIS.
’80s and ’90s nostalgia is certainly more common than ever in pop culture right now, be it on TV (Stranger Things) or the big screen (IT, Power Rangers, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle). Whereas Cline’s source material is, for better or worse, a straightforward boy’s sci-fi/fantasy adventure that thrives on references to historical pop culture, Spielberg himself has expressed a desire to elevate Ready Player One into a more layered piece of storytelling. Rylance, for his part, has indicated that the director succeeded at doing just that, calling the movie a “very, very complex film” that is both faithful yet original in its design.
The trailers for Ready Player One (both the SDCC teaser and theatrical preview alike) focus more on the whiz-bang action and sleek visuals of the film than its substance, which only makes sense from a marketing perspective. While Spielberg himself has a long history of delivering great popcorn entertainment that combines thrills with brains and heart, he has strayed away from such blockbusters in recent years to focus more on “history lessons” like Bridge of Spies and The Post instead. For that very reason, it will be interesting to see if Ready Player One succeeds in capturing some of that old Spielberg magic in more ways than one.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures
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