On March 30, 2018, Ready Player One hits theaters worldwide. Ready Player One is an adaptation of the novel of the same name published on August 11, 2011, by Ernest Cline. However, just based on the trailers alone there are some clear differences between the film and the book. But first, a summary.
“Ready Player One” is a dystopian, science-fiction, adventure book that takes place in 2045 Colombus, Ohio. The main protagonist, Wade Watts, lives in what is called The Stacks, which are stacks of mobile homes. In 2045, civilization is in tatters, there are ’80’s references everywhere, and most people find comfort in The O.A.S.I.S. or the Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation created by James Halliday. Wade reveals to readers that when Halliday died, he hid an Easter egg in the O.A.S.I.S. that holds the deed to his wealth, but to find it, you have to find 3 keys that unlock 3 gates. The problem comes when Wade runs into IOI or Innovative Online Industries, who want to take over the O.A.S.I.S. for themselves.
The book had overwhelmingly positive reviews upon release. USA Today called the book “Willy Wonka meets The Matrix” and critic John Scalzi simply referred to it as a “nerdgasm”. However, there were some negative reviews as The Outline says “‘Ready Player One’ is a terrible book, and it will be a terrible movie.”
The film, directed by famous Director Steven Spielberg, follows relatively the same plot. Wade, played by Tye Sheridan, still goes on the quest to find the keys, and he still meets up with his new friends Samantha Cook/Art3mis, played by Olivia Cooke, and i-R0k, played by T.J. Miller.
However, there are many differences. For example, in the trailers, you can see characters from the 2016 video game Overwatch. Obviously, Overwatch was not a game in 2011 so they weren’t in the book. There are also cameos from Harley Quinn from Batman: Arkham Knight released in 2015, which is also before 2011.
Perhaps the biggest difference is the giant vehicle race being hyped up between I.O.I and the O.A.S.I.S. members. This race was shown in the teaser trailer and parts have been shown in all the other trailers too. However, no race of any kind was present in the book. So, the entire race was of Steven Spielberg’s design. Although, Author Ernest Cline had a major role into what made it into the movie, so it’s all approved by him.
I highly recommend reading the book before seeing the movie because I guarantee if you do it the other way around you’ll be horribly disappointed by the book. Whereas, if you read the book first, you’ll have the whole story and can better understand the plot, what was left out, and what extras were put in.
For those that have already read the book and enjoyed it, I have good news for you. On a Facebook Live interview, Ernest Cline was asked if he was writing a sequel, his response was “It’s true. I can’t talk about it too much, but there’s no better inspiration for a writer [than] to return to a world they’ve already worked on when they’re watching Steven Spielberg bring that world to life.”