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Feature FilmVFX

TRAILER: ‘The Iron Giant’ and ‘Akira’ Play A Role In Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’

If virtual reality needed a jolt to excite the masses, it’s unlikely to find a better promotional pitch than Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg’s pop culture-soaked virtual reality dystopia that launched its first trailer at Comic-Con San Diego on Saturday.

Based on Ernest Cline’s bestselling 2011 novel of the same name, the vfx-driven film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse:

[P]eople have found salvation in the Oasis, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday. When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the Oasis, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery, and danger.

The film draws many of its plot points from pop culture, and the trailer highlights Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant and the bike from Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira as story elements.

ILM is the lead vfx house on the film which, judging from its first teaser trailer, looks to be hugely driven by visual effects and animation.

Ready Player One will be released in U.S. theaters by Warner Bros. on March 30, 2018.

  • Jen

    This seems a little grander than the slow (but still entertaining) burn of the book, but I’m still really excited about where they will take this adaptation!!

  • It seems to me that we’re in the age of constantly referencing pop culture and franchises from our childhood. I really miss the creativity from the 80s filmmakers. the constant bombardement with culture references in movies feels daunting to me and pulls me out of the story every time. it’s become superficial and stale and I hope we’re going to leave this era soon behind us.

    • Fr0stbyte

      if you’ve read the book you’d pop culture is one of the most important parts of the story and world. in the first chapter we know that they are reliving the 80s through fashion, culture icons, video games, and tv shows. Them referencing these icons is almost identical to what is done in the novel.

      • Ok this is interesting. I haven’t read the novel, obviously, I can only say what impression I had from the trailer.
        But I’ve checked some reviews for the book on amazon and some users say that the book is the perfect nostalgia ride for anyone who grew up in the 80s & 90s. So they either didn’t get the parodic ‘point’ of the book, or there isn’t one. maybe it’s the same thing that happened to Verhoeven with Starship Troopers (apparently many people in the US didn’t get that the movie was mocking facism, not endorsing it)
        let’s see

    • But…that largely seems to be the point. I could be wrong, but judging from the trailer, the film seems to be critical the constant recycling of popular culture. The obsession with nostalgic franchises is part of the dystopia.

    • Marc Hendry

      Totally with you, Slothy. For that reason I think I’d really hate to watch it

  • Andres Molina

    This looks very interesting. I do really like the direction Spielberg is going with this film. I really hope the film delivers.

  • Elsi Pote

    The movie trailer goes the distance by pushing virtual/augmented reality medium, no kidding. However it cheapens the franchises it references by making it look like a Disney Infinity ad.

    Haven’t read the book but feels a bit shallow with the scavanger hunt approach under a bleak future.

  • Jon-Peter Smith

    I’m rooting for this one to work because it could be real fun. I’m kinda hoping Spielberg makes the cultural mash-ups work in a similar way visually as the musical mash-ups worked in Moulin Rouge, where after the initial shock you just give in to the orchestrated vision. And I have to admit to loving the hints of the different orchestrations of Willy Wonka’s Pure Imagination.