New Ready Player One trailer ups the stakes

Warner Bros. unveiled the final trailer for Ready Player One before tickets go on sale and its marketing campaign enters hyperdrive mode, meaning it picks off like crazy. Only recently had an 80s heavy poster been unveiled that itself was high on nostalgia. This third trailer is shorter compared to its predecessors yet manages to pack in quite a lot of stuff and an ominous tone that raises the stakes for the virtual reality world. It also features plenty of references to the past pop-culture, one or two of which we may be seeing for the first time.

Set to the song rendition of “Come With Me”, the instrumental versions of which we’ve heard in prior trailers, the trailer leans more heavily on depicting the consequences of duking out in the virtual reality world and the corresponding stakes in the real world. Interestingly, the trailer also slips in a Jurassic Park reference with the T-Rex chasing the DeLorean from Back to the Future. Seeing that Spielberg had refused to go meta and written out most of his own references from Ernest Cline’s pop-culture heavy novel, one wonders if he had a change of heart and reinserted some of the iconic imagery he helped create back into the movie. Also, be sure to stick to the end of the trailer for some Mario-like sounds.

What seems sure from these trailers though is that a significant portion of the novel has been changed or updated to better fit the cinematic aesthetic. For instance, the entire car chase over bridges spiraling out of control seems like a fresh sequence that’ll probably replace one of the challenges in the book, as also does the entire concept of the rebellion in the real world, possibly to further up the drama in the real world. In the book, the main characters don’t really meet each other until the end is near; the movie looks like it could bring them together much sooner. This isn’t really new, since filmmakers often make changes to the source material when adapting them to the big screen since not all that is written works as a film. In the context of Ready Player One, several scenes in the book show Watts playing arcade games like Pacman or Joust; keeping them as it is would involve lot of shots of Watts standing in front of an arcade machine which would be simply boring.

Ready Player One is set in 2045 when the real world is ravaged by fossil fuel shortages and people have taken to the virtual reality world of the OASIS created by James Halliday (Mark Rylance) and his partner Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg). When Halliday dies, he leaves behind an elaborate easter egg to find inside the OASIS, one which can only be found with exhaustive knowledge of all the 80s pop-culture that Halliday grew up on. This leads to an elaborate egg-hunt which pits some of the main players like Parzival / Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) and Art3mis / Samantha (Olivia Cook) against Nolan Sorrentos (Ben Mendelsohn) and his army of players funded by the Innovative Online Industries (IOI) called Sixers.

Ready Player One is out in theaters on Mar 29, 2018.