I think it’s hard not to be excited for the film adaptation of Ready Player One at this point. For starters, fans of the novel have been clamoring for a movie adaptation ever since the novel’s original release back in 2011, and it’ll also be Steven Spielberg’s return to the sci-fi, big-budget genre after his recent string of period piece, dramas including War Horse, Lincoln, and this year’s Bridge of Spies. However, there’s a reason that Ernest Cline’s original novel caught on like wildfire the way that it did, and it’s because the novel is just so damn smart.
For those of you who don’t know, the novel follows the story of a gamer named Wade Watts, who searches through a virtual reality world called OASIS, in order to find an invaluable prize left their by the world’s creator, by completing a number of difficult challenges. What makes Spielberg such an interesting directorial choice for the project though is the fact that the challenges Wade is completing in the novel are based on the creator’s love of the 1980s culture and products. Spielberg’s name is basically synonymous with the 1980s as the director helped to shape a large majority of the major pop-culture in the decade though, so it’ll be interesting to see how the film deals with some of the more blatant references and Easter eggs.
Well, it looks like the movie adaptation might not be as concerned with the 80s nostalgia as some fans might have hoped.
While recently speaking with USA Today, Spielberg addressed the novel’s 80s love and revealed that he doesn’t plan on putting as much focus on the nostalgic factor of the story after all saying, “but I’m not making this movie to remind people of my ‘80s movies. I may leave most of them out!” The legendary director went on to reveal that he plans on addressing some of the more technological parallels to today’s youth in the film:
“They socialize for about a half hour, and it gets very quiet. I walk into the kitchen and eight or nine girls are sitting around and they’re all looking at their phones, Snapchatting and texting and Twittering and reading. It’s all become so introverted.
This movie is going to show why it’s interesting not living in the real world but what we’re missing by not. It’s a cautionary tale, but it’s also a big rockin’ adventure movie, too.”
Something tells me that this is going to come as disappointing news to some fans because this topic is something that has already been explored by a countless number of filmmakers recently, to moderate success in most cases. What made Ready Player One so good was the way it combined both the past and the future in such interesting ways, and I was personally looking forward to seeing Spielberg play with and reference some of the films he influenced or made in the 1980s, instead of duck and dodge around them. Now, it is still possible that the film will include some of the references and nostalgia fans were looking for, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll play as large of a focus as it did in the novel.
The film has already found its female lead in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl star Olivia Cooke, and no word has come yet regarding the Wade Watts role, but considering shooting on the film is set to begin relatively soon, I imagine the announcement will come sometime in the coming weeks, or even days. I’m still excited to see Spielberg take on a film with this kind of scale and adventure type narrative, I just hope he doesn’t get too caught up in making parallels to today’s youth that he loses some of the novel’s original themes. That could just be me though.
Ready Player One is set to hit theatres on December 15th, 2017.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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