We’re living in an odd age where nostalgia has taken over pop culture in a way that has become fairly unsettling. Audiences seemed to have lost interest in strange, unfamiliar world crafted by imagination and instead prefer the cozy confines of a slight variation of a familiar story. Ernest Cline tapped into this with his novel Ready Player One, which has its long anticipated cinematic adaptation landing this year. I suspect that Ready Player One might be a breaking point for this nostalgic fever dream the pop culture is trapped in.
While I fear based upon the early trailers for the film that it might just lean on nostalgia and pop culture familiarity to function as a film, there’s one reason I believe that this could be a great film that will defy any and all expectations and hesitations: Steven Spielberg. The master filmmaker, fresh off his Oscar nominated drama The Post, steps back into the blockbuster game and Spielberg, though a fantastic sentimentalist, knows how to deliver big, eye-popping action as well as an emotional core that extends beyond simple pop culture references. So while this latest look at the film is heavy on the pop culture references, remember that this just might be a selling point for an adventure that is so much more than being advertised. If there’s one thing I’m certain of in the world of movies, it’s never bet against Steven Spielberg.
Spielberg is directing a script by Zak Penn and novelist Ernest Cline. Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance, who has been Spielberg’s muse of late after his Oscar-winning performance in Bridge of Spies and his motion captured turn in The BFG. Warner Bros. will open Ready Player One in theaters nationwide on March 29, 2018.
The official synopsis for Ready Player One:
The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). 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 (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.