If you had told me 30 years ago that you could you could log in to you computer, become your own personal avatar, and interact with people in an infinite virtual world? Well I’d have called you crazy! Ernest Cline didn’t seem to think so as the bestselling novel of the same name shows us just that! It’s a pop culture film of epic proportions, loaded with references and cameos that you may not be able to count them all!
The futuristic adventure Ready Player One is set in 2045, when people will have the ability to enter into a digital universe called the OASIS, where you go wherever you want, do whatever you like, be whomever or whatever you choose to be. With the population beset by unemployment, poverty, overcrowding, and utter hopelessness, “it’s a good time to escape into a virtual world where you can live an extraordinary life through your avatar,” says Spielberg. “All you need is an imagination, and that will take you far in the OASIS. But when you escape from reality, you’re also, in a way, divesting yourself of any real human contact. So, the story is entertaining, but there is also a bit of a social commentary.”
Cline reveals that his inspiration for the story came from some of the touchstones of his youth. “The initial idea came from the Atari game Adventure, which was the very first videogame to have an Easter egg in it—its designer, Warren Robinett, had created a secret room within the game that had his name inside it. It was my first time finding something inside a virtual world hidden by the creator of that world. It was a profound experience that really stuck with me. I was also a huge fan of Roald Dahl’s works, especially the Willy Wonka books, and one day the idea occurred to me: What if Willy Wonka had been a videogame designer instead of a candy maker? I started thinking about all the riddles and puzzles this eccentric billionaire could leave behind to find a worthy successor, and I knew I was on to something.”
“I wondered if perhaps the book would only appeal to people around my age who were nostalgic for the `80s,” Cline continues. “But that has not been the case because it speaks to the way we live our lives now. Most of us have an actual identity and a virtual identity in the form of our social media profiles. And, not unlike the avatars in the story, you can shape those based on how you want other people to see you.”
Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn and T.J. Miller, with Simon Pegg and Oscar winner Mark Rylance. Get ready to enter a new reality as Ready Player One hits cinemas on March 31, 2018, only from Warner Bros.!