Steven Spielberg on His '80s References in READY PLAYER ONE, What He’s Cutting and Keeping
For those of you that have read Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, then you know it’s packed with glorious references from the '80s including the work of director Steven Spielberg. While at the press event for his upcoming film The BFG, Spielberg talked about those '80s references and explained that some of the things will be changed for the film, specifically with his own past work, but not everything. He also said that the reason he took on the challenge of adapting the book into a film is because of his love of the '80s!
Spielberg was asked how he was planning to prevent the retro reference-filled story from being a personal "victory lap" of the 1980s, and this was his reply:
“I think we were pretty awesome in the 1980s. I love the '80s, and I think one of the reasons I decided to make the movie was that it brought me back to the 1980s and let me do anything I want, except for my own movies. I've cut most of my movies out of Ernie's book, except for the Delorean and a couple of other things that I had something to do with. I've cut a lot of my own references out. I was very happy to see that there was enough without me! The '80s was a great time to grow up.”
Hell yeah, it was! It makes sense that he would cut out some his references because it would just be weird but also meta for him to include some of those things. Luckily, not everything from his past projects was cut, like the DeLorean! It will be interesting to see how it is actually going to be used in the movie.
There are a couple of references to the DeLorean in the book. At one point it’s mentioned that James Donovan Halliday (Mark Rylance), a reclusive, mysterious, billionaire restored one of the vehicles from the Back To The Future production to drive around. One of the ways I can see it being implemented, though, is that Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) wins a virtual version of the car and drives it to a party hosted by Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg), who is Halliday's former partner and fellow creator of the gaming system Oasis.
Anyway, it's good to know that not all of the references to the films Spielberg made in the '80s will be cut. I wonder what the “couple of other things” will be! For a little refresher on what the story is about, here's the book description:
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
Ready Player One arrives in theaters on March 30th, 2018.