Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One is a pop-culture classic that fans have been speculating about a big-screen adaptation for since its 2011 release. Now, that we’re just months away from the Steven Spielberg-directed film, and the first footage was debuted this week at San Diego Comic-Con, details are slowly trickling out.
The story is crammed with innumerable ’80s pop culture references, and one might assume that Spielberg would slip as many winks to his own work as possible. Wrong, according to the cast.
Olivia Cooke, who plays Art3mis in the movie, said of the director, “He was very adamant of being the least bit self-referential as possible.”
“He felt that less was more of him,” TJ Miller, who plays new character i-Rok in the movie, added.
Tye Sheridan, who plays main character Wade, said that the glimpses of familiar characters like Freddy Krueger and the Iron Giant that fans caught in the trailer are just the beginning. “There’s so much there, and that’s the book, there is so much pop culture squeezed into that book,” he said. “You can’t possibly fit all of it in the film but there’s a lot more to come I think and when people see the film I think they’re going to feel so much nostalgia watching it.”
As for the virtual reality wonderland that occupies the main characters’ time and serves as the arena for the treasure hunt that drives the plot, its look is so different from anything seen on screen before that even Spielberg had a hard time describing it, Miller said.
“The closest he’s been able to come with me is it’s going to look like a video game, but a video game in the future,” he said. “It’s going to look so hyperrealistic even when you’re in the game that it’s just gonna, there’s never been a movie that looks like it.”
This is such a shift from how it looked when they were filming, where “it’s just everything is grey and you’re in these motion capture suits so you have no idea how it’s going to look.” Miller’s first look at finished footage from the film was in Hall H with thousands of fans, and, he said, “I got goosebumps. I was like, this is really a Steven Spielberg epic film!”
Watch the trailer for the movie below:
Ready Player One hits theaters March 30, 2018.