Before Stranger Things ushered in a wave of 80’s nostalgia porn, author Ernest Cline released his instant classic Ready Player One. Since its release in 2011, society has been drifting towards the reality in the dystopian novel. Most people are locked on their phones and barely make eye contact with others (um, myself included), net neutrality may be taken away from us and the middle class is being threatened. Not all can escape into virtual reality, YET, but we can make ourselves who we wish we were on social media. Take that and turn it up to 11, and you have Ready Player One. 

Ready Player One takes place in the not-so-distant future–the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people (or at least they can meet their avatars), and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday’s fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy. And there are real dangers in this virtual world. Stuffed to the gills with action, puzzles, nerdy romance, and 80s nostalgia, this high energy cyber-quest will make geeks everywhere feel like they were separated at birth from author Ernest Cline

Steven Spielberg is directing the film and come on! Who better to direct a film laden with 80’s references. Even his movies will be referenced in the film! In the first trailer that was released, what we saw was mostly taking place in OASIS. Today, Entertainment Weekly released images that take us out of OASIS and show us the real world of Ready Player One. And it is bleak. 

The first one is of our protagonist Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) who goes by the name Parzival in the virtual reality world. There are a lot of easter eggs in this shot for anyone who has read the novel. You see that bike? That’s how Wade generates power for his equipment which is scattered about the van. 

Ready Player One
TYE SHERIDAN as Wade Watts

The next image is of Samantha Cook (Olivia Cooke) who is the baddest of asses, Art3mis in OASIS. In the VR world she rides the motorcycle from the anime Akira. Cooke says of this image, “My character has stumbled on to the street where she’s seeing all of these people in their work clothes, all ages, all ethnicities who are getting together and locked in their visors. They’re having a huge war, this rampage.” It’s a great shot. People on the streets of the real world, locked in a battle in a virtual world. Creepy. 

Ready Player One
OLIVIA COOKE as Samantha Cook

This next image shows Wade doing some virtual research. He, as Parzival, stands with Art3mis and watches archive footage of the creator of OASIS James Halliday (Mark Rylance) and Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg) as they do research in the early days of their careers. What’s really cool about this shot is that you can see the back of Parzival’s avatar and note the sword on his jacket. He did name himself after Percival from The Knights of the Round Table.

Ready Player One

This last image show the Stacks. That’s where Wade lives. In this dystopian future where poverty abounds, people build stacks to place their trailers, vans and mobile homes. It’s very dangerous since the many ton vehicles sit on barely welded together frames. In this shot, the search for the keys has spilled out into the real world. Wade is doing so well in the quest that people want to take him out. Even if it means blowing up him home. 

Ready Player One

This images are incredibly exciting. A new trailer for the film drops Sunday. The first trailer killed it with a look inside OASIS and all the pop culture goodness that resides there. The soundtrack to the video, Rush’s Tom Sawyer was the icing on the cake to a fantastic look into the world of Ready Player One. I can’t wait to see new footage this Sunday. 

Ready Player One is set for release March 30, 2018.

Audrey Kearns
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