Novel-to-film adaptations are rarely word-for-word and scene-for-scene translations. Even The Martian, currently my favorite movie of 2015, took liberties with its source material, the novel by Andy Weir. But for the upcoming movie Ready Player One, director Steven Spielberg will be deliberately omitting a particular detail: himself. RP1 will excise most references to Spielberg’s works.
According to USA Today,
Spielberg says it’s “very trippy” to be an influence on himself in a way, “but I’m not making this movie to remind people of my ‘80s movies. I may leave most of them out!”
RP1 is a homage to geek culture of the 1980s, and Spielberg is one of its patron saints. The book is sprinkled with Spielbergiana, with mentions of Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Goonies and E.T. (the famously bad videogame—the movie gets no mention at all).
Set in 2044, the story is about a high schooler who spends most of his time in an immersive MMO trying to win the greatest prize of all—ownership and control of the actual MMO. As with any other quest, he acquires allies and enemies along the way. It’s written in fluent geek, and I enjoyed every single page.
Sadly, we have to wait until Dec. 17, 2017, to see if Spielberg is able to stop himself from mentioning the protagonist’s “grail diary,” a name he swiped from Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.