San Diego Comic Con 2017 - Ready Player 1

If there is one movie that is geeky throughout and going to be a treat to watch, it is, hopefully, going to be "Ready Player One." Based off the book by the same name written by Ernest Cline, this follows the story of Wade Watts as he hunts within the Virtual World of OASIS for 3 extremely well hidden easter eggs that will give him the legacy of the founder of the OASIS, James Halliday, and control over OASIS itself.


Brought on stage first was the author and the director, Ernest Cline and Steven Spielberg. Cline was honored to be working with Spielberg and credits at leaset some of his story-telling ability to watching the movies that Spielberg made in the 80's.


Spielberg was asked about the virtual world, (OASIS) and the challenges that he faced in making this movie. He immediately commented on the world being both a flash forward and the flash back. He then explained that it took almost two and a half years to prepare the virtual world itself. He saw the movie as quite a challenge and almost felt that they needed a younger director to manage it. Still, he felt there was a lot there and gave credit to Ernie for the world that he crafted within the book itself. Speilberg told us that he needed the help of Cline to make the virtual world of OASIS what it will be in the film.


After that, they introduced the rest of the panel, Zak Penn, TJ Miller, Ben Mendelsohn, Tye Sheridan,  and Olivia Cooke. The  first question went to Zak Penn about just the challenges of the book and the personal connections and perceptions that they carry with them about the movie. He started with a joking answer but quickly straightened it out, stating it was the most complex movie that he had ever worked on. The book itself is very dense in material and so much that anyone can use. It was a massive challenge to winnow it down to a reasonable length movie that would not be 11-12 hours long.


Next the moderator went to Tye Sheridan, who he asked after his VR company and what they were working on. The moderator quickly realized he could not talk about it and let him just talk about the company itself and the film. He was into virtual reality form a young age and he was happy to be involved in the movie.


TJ was very interested to start talking about the movie and the referneces within it. He first pointed out that Steven Spielberg doesn not like to make references to his own movies, but that did not stop him from dressing like Elliot from ET, complete with an ET t-shirt. There was a bit of comparing between him and the moderator for the nods to Spielberg's movies that they had.


They then started talking with Olivia about the creation of the real characters and their avatars. She said that they were really fun to create. The avatar represented their ideal version of themselves. This meant that during the motion capture sessions they had to adopt different characteristics and physicalities.


Next, they turned to the author, Ernest. They asked if this movie was doing what he had in mind while writing justice. He responded that it was better. He had just assumed that the book could never become a movie because of all the pop culture references and movie nods found throughout it. He sincerely felt that having Zak on board, who wrote "The Last Action Hero" and having Spielberg at the helm was the only way this movie could happen. He feels that the movie is going to expose a lot of people to the concept of Virtual Reality. He suspects it will change the speed that Virtual Reality is going to be adopted within our civiliation. He felt it almost a little weird that last christmas was the first time that you could buy Virtual Reality Headsets coming about the same time.


Next they finally turned to Ben Mendelsohn and asked him what it was like to be working with Steven Spielberg on this movie. He said that working with Spielberg as his boss was amazing and everything else was just gravy.


The floor opened up after that and the first question was if any "Sinistar" had made it into the movie. Cline commented that he wasn't sure. He did say that the trailer did show a "Joust" ostriach exploding and turning into an egg. "There's a lot of hidden video game stuff in this movie. It's going to make you happy."


The next question was for Ernest Cline about how he felt about writing the book which is the blue print for modern VR and the worlds that it is enabling. He said that it makes him feel a bit like Arthur C. Clark predicting the satellites. He cited the books "Neuromancer" and "Snow Crash" as having an influence on the VR world that he created. He did love that he created his virtual world just as Virtual Reality was coming about in the real world.


The next question was for Spielberg, asking how many times he read the book and what scenes he felt that he needed to have in the movie. He response was to include the nods to his movies and not be vilified for grand larceny or vanity. He did explain though he left it out so he could avoid bringing on another director. What made him interested in the movie was the world that the book had built. That there was the world of 2045 and the virtual world, OASIS. He explains that virtualworld's limitless possiblities with the haptic suits was very freeing.  The blending of the virtual and real worlds with the haptics suits were the biggest pull for Spielberg to do this movie.


The next question was about the inspiration for the combination of elements within the trailer. After a quick brag about having the only delorean signed by  Steven Spielberg, he talked about the joy he had when he would work with the cast and crew to include nods to major parts of the book that could not get into the movie. Because it was Steven Speilberg, a lot of those got put into the movie.


This is one movie that fans of the book are going to be clamouring for. If you are curious to see what Virtual Reality can offer, this movie will do a brilliant job of showing it off. Far better than "Lawn Mower Man" or "Johnny Mnemonic" from the 80's. This movie is going to be a treat to watch. We are all looking forward to it.



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