Ready Player One is a 2018 American science fiction adventure film based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name. Directed by Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Cline, it stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance.
Development first began in 2010 when Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the book. In July 2015, Spielberg signed on to direct and produce the film, with casting for the film beginning in September 2015. Filming began in England in July 2016 and was completed in September 2016. The visual effects were handled by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Digital Domain, and Territory Studio, with some pre-visualisation done by The Third Floor. As with the novel, several popular culture references appear throughout the film, with references to The Shining, the Back to the Future franchise, and The Iron Giant appearing most prominently.
In 2045, people seek to escape from reality through the virtual reality entertainment universe called the OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation), created by James Halliday and Ogden Morrow of Gregarious Games. After Halliday’s death, a pre-recorded message left by his avatar Anorak announces a game, granting ownership of the OASIS to the first to find the golden Easter egg within it, which gets locked behind a gate requiring three keys which players can obtain by accomplishing three challenges. The contest has lured several “Gunters”, or egg hunters, and the interest of Nolan Sorrento, the CEO of Innovative Online Industries (IOI) who seeks to control the OASIS himself by inserting intrusive online advertising. IOI uses an army of indentured servants, and employees called “Sixers” to find the egg.