Ready Player One: breaking down the new trailer

Ready Player One: breaking down the new trailer

In case you missed it this weekend, we got a brand-new full-length trailer for Ready Player One, and we’ve been watching it on repeat since it dropped. Yeah, we might be just a little excited for this movie!

Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, it’s set in 2045, and apparently the real world has so little hope and opportunity that people regularly escape to a virtual world called “The Oasis”. Protagonist Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) is no different, except that he’s about to find out that the Oasis is, in fact, not just a game. Here’s our deep dive on the latest trailer:

  • There’s an endless amount of pop culture references in here, and no doubt there will be more in the movie. I can only imagine the negotiations that went on behind the scenes for the rights to the vast amount of TV, game, and movie properties needed to make the movie work (for instance, Back to the Future is a Universal property, but Ready Player One is Warner Brothers). I’m sure there are more, but at first glance I spotted: 

o Doc Brown’s DeLorean from Back to the Future

o The Batmobile from the 60s tv series "Batman"

o Iron Giant

o King Kong (look closely and you’ll see the biplane in there too!)

o Chun-Li (Street Fighter)

o Lara Croft

o Battletoads (those rivals to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

o Kaneda’s motorcycle from Akira

o The iconic boombox from Say Anything.

o The Joker and Harley Quinn

o …and was that Chucky in there too?!! (flying through the air around the 2:14 mark).

  • Plot details are revealed! Apparently there’s an easter egg inside the Oasis, made to look like a ‘real’ egg, and the one who finds it will be rewarded with half a trillion dollars and control of the Oasis. (Me? I would just take the money and run…or slow jog to my private jet.)
  • Watts is asked “Can you feel this?” as a female avatar runs her hands along his chest in the Oasis. Apparently, he can feel the touch outside the game. What does that say for the dangers Watts is going to face? Will he feel pain when the “actual life and death stuff” happens? (I’m betting yes).
  • Readers of the source material know that Watts’ avatar is named “Parzival”. What’s interesting is that Parzival looks exactly like a video game character, not simply an image of Watts with a glow (aka Tron). I applaud Spielberg for not taking the easy way out here.
  • Yes, blink and you’ll miss it but that is Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One’s Orson Krennic). He’s also been cast in 2019’s Captain Marvel.
  • Let’s not forget the music! I imagine the soundtrack will be red hot, and include a lot more iconic songs. From the trailer alone we’re hearing Depeche Mode’s “World in my Eyes” and Van Halen’s “Jump”. This might be the movie soundtrack to rival Guardians of the Galaxy for nostalgia. 

In addition to the trailer, a new poster was also unveiled, telling us “a better reality awaits”. Does it? If you ask business magnate Elon Musk, he’ll tell you that odds are we already live in a virtual world. That was the premise of the original Matrix trilogy too, and according to one of its lead characters (and another pop culture icon) - Agent Smith, humans define their reality through suffering and misery. Let’s hope they’re both wrong, and the real world gets another chance!

Ready Player One will be in Cineplex theatres on March 30.