While we’re still a couple of years away from the Steven Spielberg directed adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, pre-production is beginning to get underway. Fans are looking forward to seeing the fully realized virtual world of the OASIS created on the big screen. However, according to the film’s star, we may not be seeing nearly as much of it as we thought. Tye Sheridan says only about a third of the script takes place there.
Ready Player One tells the story of Wade Watts, an American high school student who lives most of his life inside the virtual reality simulation called the OASIS under the name Parzival. Tye Sheridan will be playing the role when the movie is released in 2018. Recently Variety asked the actor if he was familiar with source material. While Sheridan is currently ready the book now, he’s already the screenplay, and his most interesting comment was how much of the film takes place inside virtual reality.
A good third of the film takes place in a virtual realm inside a video game.
For those who have read the book, that’s going to seem a little low. While there’s a solid of chunk in the latter half of the book that takes place outside of the OASIS, we get brief scenes at most outside of the game prior to that. One of the key aspects of the book is that the future that the story takes place in is a pretty terrible world. The great recession never ended and the world is pretty much out of oil which has led to a major energy crisis. Real life sucks. This is why Wade Watts, along with many other people in the world, retreat into virtual reality. Things are less shitty there.
If the amount of time the movie will spend in the OASIS will be reduced as compared to the novel, it’s likely primarily due to cost concerns. Tye Sheridan says that he thinks Ready Player One could be a "milestone for cinema" in regards to the way that it handles virtual reality. If the movie is looking to push the envelope, that likely means their plans will be expensive. While we would expect the Ready Player One movie will have a blockbuster level budget, there still may be limits to what they can do.
At the same time, it’s hard to figure out what they would change to reduce the amount of time the characters spend inside the game. The entire plot is based around a puzzle that must be solved inside the OASIS. There’s essentially no way the main plot can advance anyplace else. It could very well mean that scenes that are not directly related to that plot may be cut however. No zero gravity dance club? Say it ain’t so!
What do you think of a Ready Player One that contains two-thirds of its content in the real world? Can the essence of the story still be there, or is the heart of the film in the virtual world?