T.J. Miller has walked a strange career path, one that has led him to–among other things–a starring role in Steven Spielberg‘s 2018 adaptation, Ready Player One. That’s Miller’s story to tell, so thankfully he did so in a recent interview for his upcoming animated kids’ film, The Emoji Movie, in which he plays the lead. The Sony Pictures Animation film is due out on July 28th, but in the meantime you can check out the recently released trailer here.
Fans of Ernest Cline‘s super-fun sci-fi novel “Ready Player One” will have to wait until March 30, 2018 to see the live-action adaptation, but luckily Miller shed some light on his newly created character in the film during a sit-down with Fandango. He does indeed play i-R0k, a name not found in the book, but despite internet rumors to the contrary, this won’t be an internet troll role. Before we get to just what i-R0k is all about, let’s see how Miller ended up here in the first place.
“So, I have a really weird life,” he told Fandango. Part of that is by choice, for sure, but another part of it is how he ended up in Spielberg’s good graces.
Steven Spielberg and I kind of know each other because I was on a DreamWorks television show really early on in my career. For some reason, he thought I was funny …
And so Spielberg himself was like, ‘Let’s put T.J. in Office Christmas Party. Let’s see if he can be at the center of a film.’ It was almost like a movie-star screen test. It was really weird. And I thought that script was good and the cast was awesome. People love that movie. It’s great … So once the dailies started coming in for Office Christmas Party it was almost like he was like, ‘Bring him to me!’ He’s the king of Hollywood, so he can say ‘Bring him to me! I want to see him in person and work with him and see for myself if he’s the real deal.’ So, he brought me to England and they wrote this part.”
The part in question is a new creation, though Miller compares him to other puzzle-solvers that play important roles in the book:
“I’m not in the book. Some plot points are different, but I’m the only new character. I play i-R0k and basically I am a funny, or at least mildly amusing, Boba Fett. In the OASIS, I am a better player than Aech or Daito or any of those guys. I am sort of unequivocally the best bounty hunter, but I work freelance. While all the Sixers work for IOI and Sorrento, he has to commission me and I get an incredibly high fee to either find people and kill them or make them starve in the game.
“My character in the movie wants to be Boba Fett. Like that’s his hero, his idol, which isn’t far off for many Star Wars fans, myself included.
“I actually mimicked Boba Fett’s voice. And in the original Star Wars he only ever speaks four or five times in the movies, so I could only learn from ‘What about me? He’s no good to me dead.’ And then ‘As you wish.’ And I used the British actor’s voice instead of the f***ing Australian’s from the prequels – Lucas, you son of a bitch! – and so, I think it’s actually a really fun character.”
While Miller may have pleased Star Wars fans with his dedication to the character, he’s about to rub Gears of War and Call of Duty fans the wrong way:
“I’m positive that acting will be good and I like all the people he got – even though they’re younger kids – nothing in the world will have ever looked like this. Basically, it looks like a video game when not in the real world. And because it’s Steven Spielberg, it looks better than any video game on the market. Because of his access and resources, Gears of War and f***ing Call of Duty can’t even touch it. I think they’re inventing new technology for it. So, yeah, I’m excited for 2018.”
We’ll see if that description measure up come the end of the first quarter of 2018. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!