Ask Ernie Cline, author of the award-winning novel Ready Player One, if he one day imagined that Steven Spielberg would be instated at the helm of a big-screen adaptation of his book and he would have likely laughed you off and phoned the men in the white coats. Much like any creative thinker growing up during the 80s and 90s, Spielberg had such a profound influence on Cline’s work that the scribe included many references to the director’s work across OASIS – the alluring virtual reality space that acts as the novel’s chief setting.
So now, in a reality where Steven Spielberg is actually primed to direct Ready Player One, will the feature film include these referential nods? In short: no. During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the director himself provided an update on the production, and why he’s taken the liberty of cutting the references to his decorated body of work.
“The movie won’t have any of my films in it,” Spielberg, who is directing the 2017 adaptation, told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m not putting myself in this movie….They reference so many ’80s movies. I’m doing the whole pop culture thing. I’m just going to leave myself out of it. I can’t do that. Too self-referential.”
Spielberg may have acted as a strong creative influence for the original novel, but ahead of the high-profile adaptation – which recently enlisted Olivia Cooke as the female lead – the director is looking further afield. Specifically, with the onslaught of virtual reality through bleeding-edge technology such as Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive, there is perhaps no better time to push ahead with a Ready Player One film.
Indeed, as Spielberg reveals to USA Today, the story is comparable to “a crystal ball into exactly what is going to be happening not in 30 or 40 years but in between 5 and 10 years from now, where a virtual world becomes almost like a drug of choice and where we are spending more time in a nonorganic space than we are breathing and eating and interacting in real life.”
Ready Player One will whisk moviegoers into an entirely new reality on December 15, 2017.