I read Ernie Cline’s nerd oeuvre… like, what? Must be about five years ago. And even now, though I don’t remember much of the story, I have this super vivid mental image of the “stacks” ghetto imprinted on my brain. So does Steven Spielberg, I guess, because his film adaptation of Ready Player One has precisely recreated my own vision of this sci-fi dystopia future and it’s kind of astounding.
Without dropping any big spoilers, the novel and movie present a not entirely implausible future in which humanity lives mostly in virtual reality, because actual reality is so shit. Protagonist Wade Watts is a teen who lives in the slums and becomes a sort of celebrity in a game called OASIS, but becomes caught up in an (inevitable) villainous corporate scheme. Things get complicated and I think there was also some kissing.
Debuted at Comic-Con over the weekend, the first teaser trailer features a lot of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references to ’80s and ’90s pop culture, including Akira, Nightmare on Elm Street, Back to the Future, The A-Team, and The Iron Giant, and probably others that I missed because I’m too busy shoving kids off my lawn.
Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse) as Wade, with Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One), Mark Rylance (Dunkirk), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead), T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley), and Hannah John-Kamen (Killjoys). Film’s out in March 2018.