March 29, 2018 saw the premiere of the highly anticipated Steven Spielberg film "Ready Player One," a fantastic adventure of saving the near future by reliving the distant past. The dystopian film is based off Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name and shows a world that escapes the troubles of the present by entering a virtual reality called the Oasis, where pop culture from the past half-century reigns supreme. From "The Iron Giant," "Overwatch," and "Marvin the Martian" to "Mechagodzilla," "The Shining," and time-traveling DeLorean cars, this movie has at, any given moment, over half a dozen pop culture references that anyone can recognize in a heartbeat.
This movie was a unique challenge for legendary director Steven Spielberg to pull off as the novel the story originates from is is part of the relatively new science fiction genre known as Literary Role-Playing Game (LitRPG). This genre has rarely, if ever, been brought to the silver screen and brings with it many unanswered questions as to which camera angles and positions work best in such a dynamic virtual world that is completely computer generated and filled to the brim with the some of the most imaginative environments ever conceived.
In addition to this cinematic complication, the story told in this world involves an extraordinary amount of trademarked and copyrighted material which the crew behind the film had to obtain permission to use before filming even began. It did help that Spielberg and the production companies behind the film, Warner Bros. Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, already had ownership of a great amount of the material seen in the novel.
Despite this, not all material was able to make it into the movie as The Walt Disney Company was unwilling to allow their intellectual property, such as the superheroes of Marvel Comics and the "Star Wars" universe from Lucasfilm, from being seen extensively if at all in the movie. To compensate for this loss, characters and items from the D.C. Comics and "Star Trek" Universes were used in their place. This helped to cover up what some viewers would see as a glaring hole in pop culture icons.
Overall, "Ready Player One" is a fun and thoughtful escape in and of itself which people should see if they get the chance. The characters and scenes are some of the most memorable seen in a recent Spielberg film. It will be sure to make you both nostalgic for the past as well as hopeful for the future that will come as a result.