The Ready Player One Scene That Was Supposed To Be Set In The Blade Runner World

Harrison Ford in Blade Runner

Warning: SPOILERS for Ready Player One are ahead!

Although Ready Player One hits many of the same beats as the original novel written by Ernest Cline, as with any adaptation, there were some changes made to the source material. For example, in the book, the challenge to obtain the Jade Key and open the corresponding gate took place in a recreation of The Shining's Overlook Hotel, whereas in the book, the key was obtained by playing a three-dimensional version of Zork, while the Jade Gate was unlocked by playing Black Tiger. However, the Ready Player One movie's Jade Key challenges originally took place within the Blade Runner world (possibly to honor the Jade Gate in the book being a Voight-Kampff machine), but writer Zak Penn was forced to switch the setting due to Blade Runner 2049 coming out around the same time. Penn recalled:

I actually at one point wrote a sequence set in Blade Runner and I think the problem was they knew the new Blade Runner was gonna come out right around then. In fact, I think I had somebody driving Deckard's car and I think they didn't give us the right to do it. I take it back, I wouldn't have minded a couple Blade Runner references. The Blade Runner gun would have been pretty cool.

Ready Player One was originally scheduled to come out on December 15, 2017, but it later moved to late March of this year so it wouldn't have to compete with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Blade Runner 2049 was released on October 6, 2017, so had Ready Player One stuck to its original release date, there only would have been a two month interval between the movies. Evidently Warner Bros, which released both Ready Player One and Blade Runner 2049, wasn't keen on the former stealing some of the latter's thunder (regardless of distance), hence why Penn had to use The Shining as a replacement. But as Penn also noted to The Playlist, he wishes he still had been able to include a few Blade Runner references in Ready Player One, even if it had been something as simple as Rick Deckard's firearm, which Parzival, Art3mis or one of the other protagonists could have broken out during the movie's climactic battle on Planet Doom.

While it's a shame that Ready Player One didn't include any references to Blade Runner, one of the more memorable sci-fi movies of the 1980s, switching the Jade Key action to the Overlook Hotel arguably worked better in the long run. The Shining-inspired sequence was one of the movie's coolest moments, as it saw Parzival, Art3mis, Aech, Daito and Sho having to deal with zombies that had overrun the setting of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 movie based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. So yes, while Blade Runner was one of the few '80s properties that didn't get any direct representation in Ready Player One, at least its lack of inclusion ultimately resulted in the movie being improved.

Ready Player One is now playing in theaters, and you can learn what we thought of the movie by reading our review and To 3D guide. As for what else the rest of 2018 has in store theatrically, you can look through our premiere guide for release date information.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.