South O’ the Highway

‘Ready Player One’ Debut Trailer Mostly True to the Novel

Just one week after revealing the first official image from East Hampton director Steven Spielberg‘s Ready Player One, we now have the first teaser trailer! Warner Bros. debuted the two-minute thrill ride at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, July 22, to cheers from fans of Ernest Cline‘s pop culture-infused novel, and a few jeers from a vocal contingency of haters who have been discrediting the book since its publication back in 2011.

We loved Cline’s book, and the film trailer, embedded below, didn’t disappoint. A number of scenes teased in the trailer are straight from the pages of the Ready Player One novel. Among the only major changes is protagonist Wade Watts’ real life appearance as a handsome young man (played by HIFF Actor to Watch Tye Sheridan), instead of the overweight, acne-ridden teen depicted in the book who escapes into the OASIS—a virtual reality world where his avatar alter ego, Parzival, looks and lives like a heroic and confident star. The OASIS and Wade’s avatar are made using computer generated imagery and motion capture technology in the movie. Watch the trailer below and then scroll down for more.

As seen in the footage, the OASIS is an exciting place full of action and adventure. It’s also the setting for most of Cline’s novel, which takes place in a dystopian 2044 (2045 in the film) and follows Wade and four friends in a quest to win control over the OASIS and keep it free from Innovative Online Industries (IOI), the corporate villains who want to limit access to it and, in opposition to OASIS creator James Halliday’s vision, make it all about profit. Thankfully, Halliday put his entire fortune and control of the OASIS up for grabs after his death. But in order to get it, someone needs to find the Easter eggs he’s hidden inside this massive universe he created—and that requires a ton of 1980s pop culture knowledge, because that’s what Halliday loved most.

Needless to say, the 1980s are back, big time, in the real world, and thousands of people, called gunters (a contraction of “egg hunter”), have dedicated their lives to studying the era and exploring the OASIS in an effort to unravel Halliday’s great Easter egg game. Wade is among the best of them, and—despite IOI putting their nearly limitless resources toward winning the game—he catches a break and becomes the first person to make actual progress in the hunt. Now, with the possibility of finding Halliday’s Easter eggs more real than ever, gunters and IOI’s corporate hunters, called “sixers,” are absolutely focused on seeing it through. IOI is even willing to kill for it in the real world.

Ogden Morrow's party in Ready Player One trailer
Ogden Morrow’s party in Ready Player One trailer

From “the stacks,” a city of trailers piled atop one another to towering heights, where Wade lives, to his secret lair inside a junked van, the trailer gets lots of things right from Cline’s source material. Perhaps that’s also because Cline wrote the screenplay. The film footage also shows the OASIS gear—haptic gloves and visor—correct, but that’s pretty hard to screw up. Another scene from the Ready Player One book shown in the trailer (at 1:05) is a party held by Halliday’s business partner—the Steve Wozniak to his Jobs—Ogden Morrow, played by Simon Pegg, inside the OASIS. There are also plenty of giant robots, just like the book, though the Iron Giant (at 1:17) was not originally one of them.

Iron Giant in the Ready Player One trailer
Iron Giant in the Ready Player One trailer
Freddy Krueger explodes in the Ready Player One trailer
Freddy Krueger explodes in the Ready Player One trailer

We don’t recall Freddy Krueger being in the book, but how cool was it to see him explode in that huge virtual battle scene (at 1:32)? By the way, the massive, crazy battle is definitely in the book. So is the Back to the Future DeLorean shown at 2:15.

DeLorean in the Ready Player One trailer
DeLorean in the Ready Player One trailer

There’s no question the Ready Player One film is going to be a complete blast to watch, and it will likely be jam-packed with pop culture references, just like the book. It will probably even contain more than a few of its own Easter eggs hidden throughout, which makes a good argument for buying the Blu-ray when the day comes.

Ready Player One hits theaters on March 30, 2018.

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