'Ready Player One' Trailer Breakdown: Let The Easter Egg Hunt Begin

After reading Ernest Cline's Ready Player OneSteven Spielberg was amazed by the world on the page, but initially, he had no idea how to adapt it. He credited Cline as his handbook and guide for the OASIS, the digital landscape where much of the story is set.

"The virtual world was amazing," Spielberg told the crowd at Comic-Con. "When I read Ernie's book, it was the most amazing flash-forward and flashback at the same time, to a decade I was very involved in, the 1980s. There's a flash forward to a future I think is awaiting all of us, whether we like it or not. The creation of a virtual world took almost two and a half years of preparation that will resolve at the end of March next year."

Cline adapted his fun page-turner with Zack Penn, a co-writer of a movie that influenced the author, Last Action Hero. Based on the trailer, they've remained faithful to the story, but the world isn't all about '80s references. What Spielberg and his team look to have done with the OASIS appears to be nerd heaven for some fans. The trailer has plenty of easter eggs, but better yet, it teases some of Spielberg's biggest and wildest set pieces.

According to the filmmaker, the teaser trailer gives audiences only a "slight taste of what's to come." Until then, let's examine what we do see with a Ready Player One trailer breakdown.

ready player one trailer breakdown

A great new spin on the Amblin Entertainment logo helps set the tone for what's to come.

ready player one trailer

The world has been ravaged by an ongoing energy crisis, famine, climate change, poverty, disease, and wars in Ready Player One. People spend more time in the OASIS than the real world. Many go to school and work in the virtual environment. It's where Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) escapes his life in the stacks, as seen above. In the book, Watts lives in one of the trailers with his aunt Alice and 15 others. When he was 11, his mom died of a drug overdose – which is a surprisingly heavy detail in Cline's story. The only reason his aunt took him in was for food vouchers.

ready player one trailer breakdown

Watts spends a lot of time hiding out in this car. It's where he enters the OASIS, where 60% of Spielberg's movie takes place. Watts' avatar name is Parzival. On February 11, 2045, that name shoots to the top of the scoreboard after he discovers the copper key, which is the first of three keys required for James Halliday's (Mark Rylance) Hidden Egg challenge. There's a copper, jade, and crystal key to collect to win the game (and Halliday's fortune).

Parzival got the copper key by entering the Tomb of Horrors and defeating Acererak the Demi-Lich in a game of Joust. From the look of the movie, Parzival will play some different games, but Joust remains. He probably won't have to know lines from War Games and Monty Python and the Holy Grail to advance in Halliday's egg hunt, but we'll see.

ready player one trailer

Halliday, by the way, is the one behind the OASIS. The video game designer couldn't have done it without Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg), though. They had a strained relationship, which Cline based on Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Morrow didn't speak much with Halliday before his death.

The OASIS started as a game that later evolved into a new world. By 2045, it's where most of humanity spends their time. When Halliday dies at the age of 67, he has no heir. He spent a lot of his life in isolation. Before his death, he recorded a video explaining his company, Gregarious Simulations Systems and his entire estate will go to the winner of the Hunt, an egg hunt for uber nerds in the OASIS.

The problem is that there are thousands of worlds in the OASIS, so within the first year, no clues, keys, or gates are discovered. Five years later, after some of the public has lost hope and interest in the challenge, Watts finds a key and The Hunt intensifies.

ready player one trailer

Many companies tried to take over Halliday's Gregarious Simulations Systems, including Innovative Online Industries, a.k.a. IOI. The villainous corporation provides Internet to most of the world. Watts is wearing some of their gear in the photo above. The villain of the film, Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), is the head of a division at IOI completely dedicated to The Hunt.

Watts' life is in the OASIS. It's where he spends most of his time, interacts with others, and, as he says in the trailer, finds purpose. For Spielberg, the interaction between real life and virtual life made him want to direct Ready Player One:

"For me, what made me want to tell the story, more than anything else, was the kind of world 2045 gives to people – which is so dystopian. People are leaving the country, and all of the sudden virtual gives you a choice and gives you another world to exist in. You can do anything in that world. Anything you possibly could imagine, because there are haptic suits that haven't come out on the market yet that give you a kind of feedback, that approximates touch, sensuality, and pain. That interaction between real life and virtual life, by the third act of this movie, is almost nonexistent. That from the book made me want to jump in the movie."

ready player one trailer

IOI have players working for them trying to solve The Hunt. They're called Sixers. They're feared but not well-respected. They have the least imaginative avatars.

ready player one trailer

Here's a closer look at some of them in avatar form.

ready player one trailer breakdown

At one point, Sorrento tries to recruit Watts to work for IOI for a nice price, but the young hero knows they want to corrupt the OASIS. He refuses and continues the search with Samantha Evelyn Cook/Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) and other allies in the game.

ready player one trailer breakdown

It's not always about the competition in the OASIS. Parzival lets loose by going to a party in one chapter and rolls up in a DeLorean. In the shot above, Parzival walks by Harley Quinn and Deadshot. The party is packed with characters from Warner Bros. films, which could feel like self-promotion, but in this version of the OASIS, these characters would absolutely be there.

Ready Player One trailer breakdown 6

It's Morrow's birthday party, which is the party to be at in the OASIS. Art3miss and Parzival go together. The party is at The Distracted Globe, a zero gravity dance club on the planet Neonoir. Cline told Entertainment Weekly Gandalf can be spotted in the trailer dancing along with a lot of other hard-to-spot characters. Gandalf is easy to spot slightly to the right of the middle of this shot. In the book, Parzival dresses in a suit similar to the one Peter Weller wore in Buckaroo Banzai to the party.

Ready Player One trailer breakdown

Halliday grew up in the 1980s. His love for all things '80s is evident in the OASIS and the Hunt. Spielberg is using some more modern references, though, like The Iron Giant, who towers above Parzival. At Comic-Con, the director said the giant robot plays a big role in the film. In the book, Ultraman and Mechagodzilla battle in a massive third act showdown, but The Iron Giant is replacing Ultraman.

Ready Player One trailer breakdown

One major '80s reference remaining is, of course, the DeLorean. Spielberg cut most of Cline's references to his own movies, but he kept the Back to the Future vehicle from the movie he executive-produced. "So many of the iconic moments chosen by Ernie happened in the era I was very much involved in. I had to leave a lot of myself out, or I would've had to defer to another director," Spielberg said.

Parzival cruising around the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park is a new addition to the story. It's from the film's big race in the OASIS' Manhattan. Inside the DeLorean are the correct dates from Back to the Future:

Ready Player One trailer breakdown

Some other recognizable vehicles? Max Rockatansky's car on the left side of this shot.

Ready Player One trailer 8 breakdown

As the Sixers get ready for the race, the killer car from Stephen King's "Christine" is in view, as is The A-Team's vehicle. Standing next to the red Plymouth Fury is video game icon, Lara Croft.

ready player one trailer breakdown

Riding the bike from Akira is one of the best players in the game, Art3mis. "These avatars are sometimes the idealized version of themselves or a completely different creation," Cooke said at Comic-Con. "In motion-capture, we had to adopt different characteristics and different physicalities."

Playing over the chase in Manhattan is "Tom Sawyer" by Rush, which is Halliday's favorite band in the book. He coded every game of his while listening to Rush. Watts has every Rush song, bootleg, and music video, too. The cover of the Rush album 2112 is a part of the book, and so is the song "Temples of Syrinx."

Scorpion battle

One of the many better modes of transportation than a DeLorean? A giant mechanical scorpion. The shot below is from a game of Joust in the film. In some other shots from this sequence, there are ostriches all over the place and an egg in plain sight. What a shot! I love how colorful and vibrant Spielberg's vision of the OASIS is. This isn't a dystopia film drained of color.

Ready Player One trailer breakdown 13

Freddie Kruger and Duke Nukem are in the fight. Watts' best friend in the OASIS is Aech (Lena Waithe), with whom he swaps movies and video game references. They talk about all things James Halliday, too. Aech, as what appears to be an Orc holding Master Chief's gun from Halo, is seen taking out Freddie Kruger and Duke Nukem in this shot.

Ready Player One trailer breakdown

And here's a close-up of Aech in the OASIS

Ready Player One trailer

The final image is a big tease for anyone who's read the book: the glass key. During the Manhattan race, Aech is driving a famous monster truck, Big Foot.

Ready Player One trailer breakdown

During the big race, Parzival sticks with the DeLorean. The crowd at Comic-Con went bonkers for this part of the trailer. The license plate is Watts' username.

ready player one trailer breakdown

Parzival won't always need roads.

Ready Player One last trailer breakdown

The trailer ends with a teaser for fans of the book: the glass key and egg.

Ready Player One opens in theaters March 30, 2018.