From sci-fi and horror to ’80s classics
By Veronnica MacKillop, Columnist
Ready Player One is one of the most talked-about movies of 2018, and is set to release April 27. Fans can expect a fantastical virtual reality world created by Steven Spielberg, adapted from the novel by Ernest Cline.
Since OASIS, the world created in this film, is a virtual reality, it gives the filmmakers a lot of creative license to include references to other fantasy and sci-fi worlds, just like the book does. Here are some of the references you can expect to see in the film based on the trailers and posters, and what they’ll mean for the movie.
The Iron Giant
One of the first things spotted in the trailer was the giant robot from the 1990s film of the same name. Since he is also in the poster, and quite central, he might have a sizeable role in the film.
The car from Back to the Future can be seen both in the trailers and on the poster. Fans assume this car belongs to protagonist Wade’s OASIS character Parzival, since the licence plate says his name.
The latest trailer features a version of “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The OASIS is just that—pure imagination. It could also be a nod to the rumour before Gene Wilder’s passing that he was going to play OASIS creator James Halliday.
’80s and ’90s references
The franchise released some posters imitating ’80s movies such as The Lost Boys, The Matrix, Beetlejuice, and Labyrinth, to name a few. The official movie poster is riddled with even more old-school references, with Wade and other characters imitating poses and costumes from The Breakfast Club, Star Wars, and Say Anything. These references could mean that RPO is following some similar storylines from ’80s movies, with a twist.
Harley Quinn and Deathstroke
When Parzival enters the OASIS, we see a shot of a Suicide Squad version of Harley Quinn walking in with Deathstroke. This is probably just a fun Easter egg, but maybe we’ll see them more than once throughout the film. Another version of Harley Quinn is seen with the Joker in another clip.
The bad guys in the OASIS are IOI (Innovative Online Industries), and we can see one the baddies getting out of Christine, the evil car from Stephen King’s film of the same name. It’s only fitting for a villain to be driving Christine.
In another trailer shot, we see King Kong leaping from a tall building overlooking the OASIS, so hopefully he’s an actual character in the film. Some fans are hoping for a Kong versus Gundam fight to play out.
Video game characters
The trailers show plenty of characters from the popular Street Fighter games like Sagat and Chun-Li. Other video game characters include Battletoads and Overwatch heroes.
So far, we’ve seen Chucky and Freddy Krueger, both in the battle scene of the trailer—the first time we’ve ever seen the two in a movie together. Horror fans can only hope that there will be some interactions between the spooky favourites.
Gundam: Anime mecha
Gundam from the popular Japanese series of the same name is also expected to play a larger role in the film, since the original Gundam is seen in the trailers and is central in the poster. Gundam’s inclusion may help the movie gain popularity in Japanese markets.
These are not even half of the references and Easter eggs from Ready Player One, and it’s fair to assume they’re saving some for the film’s release. A movie jam-packed with sci-fi, fantasy, and more ’80s references than Stranger Things is sure to be a memorable one.