How Ready Player One’s Author Feels About The Book’s Indiana Jones Digs

Ready Player One Parzival Anorak

Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is an incredibly meta film that adapts Ernest Cline's Easter egg-filled book from 2011. The movie is chock full of pop culture references, including numerous nods to Spielberg's work. However, as readers may remember, the book isn't always kind to Spielberg, even going so far as to take a shot at the later Indiana Jones movies. On that note, CinemaBlend got a chance to ask Cline about that Indy dig during the recent Ready Player One press day, and he explained that the joke in the book was more of a way to showcase James Halliday's obsession with the 1980s than a way to mock Spielberg. Cline said:

[Steven Spielberg] never said anything about that. You know, he's got a pretty thick skin, and that little dig is done in the context of 'the first three are a holy trilogy,' and it's also a very geek thing. That was a way to build Halliday's character. So many geeks from that era are so reverent and Halliday's maybe a little too reverent about the 1980s and the first original three came out in the 1980s, you know? So anything outside of the 1980s didn't count. It was less a dig about Steven and the movie and more about Halliday's obsession with and fixation with the 1980s.

Those of you who have read Ready Player One may remember this line. While Indiana Jones doesn't feature prominently in the hunt for James Halliday's Easter egg, it is briefly mentioned that the consensus among Halliday and the Gunters is that Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade are all considered classics. By contrast, everything made after The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is looked down upon. Steven Spielberg never said anything about that joke to Cline during the production of the film, but the author defended the presence of the joke with the rationale that it speaks more to the characters' obsession with the 1980s than the actual quality of those films.

Of course, for those of you who haven't read Ready Player One, the specific joke written by Ernest Cline says:

Halliday once said that he preferred to pretend the other Indiana Jones films, from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull onward, didn't exist. I tended to agree.

This situation naturally raises questions about whether or not Ernest Cline offered up input for Steven Spielberg's fifth Indiana Jones movie, which he is currently developing with David Koepp. Alas, Cline also admitted to CinemaBlend that the Indy joke from his book caused some anxiety when Koepp actually showed up to the Ready Player One set to work on Indy 5 with Spielberg. Per Cline:

I will tell you that David Koepp came to the set of Ready Player One to talk about Indiana Jones 5, and I really wanted to go over and say hello, but I didn't because I was like 'Oh I bet he read this book,' and he's like 'Back off.' I never met him. I didn't go over there. It's just the worst thing. I remember when I met him I was like 'I hope he doesn't bring that up.' He never did.

Of course, Ernest Cline probably didn't have too much time to worry about whether or not Steven Spielberg and David Koepp would call him out on those Indiana Jones jokes; after all, he's got his own movie to think about right now. With that in mind, make sure to check out CinemaBlend's full review of Ready Player One and check the film out when it debuts in theaters on March 29!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.