Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is a smorgasbord of pop culture references, with a particular preference for that geek culture-defining decade of the 1980s. The films of that era reverberate throughout the pop culture landscape today and laid the groundwork for the modern blockbuster. Of all the films from the '80s, few have had the cultural relevance than those of Steven Spielberg, as well as George Lucas' Star Wars movies. So it is awesome and fitting to hear that, while shooting the feature film adaptation of Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg's contemporary and long time friend, George Lucas, visited the set.
It is quite appropriate that George Lucas would visit the set of a film upon whose source material he had so much influence. There are few movies, books, video games or toys with even a small percentage of the nostalgia quotient that Star Wars boasts, and that is all thanks to George Lucas' vision. Fortunately, thanks to initial reports to the contrary, Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One will feature references to the original Star Wars trilogy, preventing the void that would have existed in their absence.
The friendship between Steven Spielberg and George Lucas is the stuff of Hollywood legend, and the two have collaborated on arguably the greatest adventure film series of all time, Indiana Jones. George Lucas even made a rare onscreen cameo in Steven Spielberg's least favorite film, and millennial doctrine, Hook. Every time you hear fun stories about the two working together or just dropping by for a visit like in this story, you are encouraged that even in this kind of entertainment business, a friendship can endure over many years. Like any good friendship, the two don't have any problems teasing each other either. According to Deadline, while speaking during a panel at Wondercon, Ready Player One screenwriter Zak Penn spoke about George Lucas' visit, saying:
George Lucas showed up on set and gave Spielberg a hard time shooting on digital.
I can't see George Lucas as much of a ball-buster, but if he is going to tease someone about something, it would naturally be some technical aspect of their filmmaking. George Lucas has long been a proponent of technology and advancing the filmmaking medium forward, always trying to improve things and never clinging to what he sees as antiquated. So it is quite the dichotomy that he is on set for a film that presents incredible and world-altering technology that people use to relive the past.
George Lucas pioneered shooting on digital instead of film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, shooting Attack of the Clones and then Revenge of the Sith entirely in 1s and 0s. Steven Spielberg on the other hand, has been a champion of filmmaking tradition, with his recent movies The Post and Bridge of Spies both being shot on actual film. Ready Player One was captured using both film and digital, so I guess Lucas was espousing the merits of digital and giving Spielberg guff for not using it all the time.
You can see Ready Player One when it hits theaters this Friday, March 29. Check out our guide for all of Steven Spielberg's upcoming projects.