‘Ready Player One’: Steven Spielberg Says He’s Avoiding References to His Own Movies

     June 22, 2016


With The BFG on the verge of being released, following its tepid critical response at its Cannes premiere, eyes are already on Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg‘s next project. For fans of the director, the possibilities are frankly endless, but if you’re a fan of Ernest Cline‘s source material, one of the bigger questions is how Spielberg will confront his own influence on Cline’s novel. The book is heavily sprinkled with references to the director-producer and his creative salad days in the 1980s, and during a recent press day for The BFG, which our very own Christina Radish attended, Spielberg commented on how he will approach the influence of his work on the narrative and era of Cline’s story.  Here’s what he had to say about referencing himself in Ready Player One:

You’re getting ready to start Ready Player One, which is a story that’s heavily drenched in nostalgia for an era that you defined, in a big way. Is that weird? How do you keep from making that a victory lap that says, “Look how awesome we were in the ‘80s”?


SPIELBERG: I think we were pretty awesome in the ‘80s. I hope the movie returns all of us to the awesomeness of the ‘80s. I love the ‘80s. I think one of the reasons I decided to make the movie was that it brought me back to the ‘80s and lets me do anything I want, except for with my own movies. I’ve cut most of my movies out of [Ernest Cline’s] book. Except for the DeLorean and a couple of other things that I had something to do with, I cut a lot of my own references out of the ‘80s. I was very happy to see there was enough without me that made the ‘80s a great time to grow up.

Though I’m not entirely sure what he means by “a couple of other things,” it’s good news to hear that Spielberg isn’t going to get too self-aware in the film. But then again, being able to reference his own work would open up a realm of personal investment, imagination, and memory for the director in the film. That may be what he’s getting at with the addition of the “other things,” as well as the use of the DeLorean, a reference to Back to the Future, which Spielberg produced alongside director Rob Zemeckis. The vehicle shows up in a myriad of places in Cline’s book – the co-creator of the game system Oasis, who will be played by Mark Rylance, has his own, upgraded DeLorean in his garage. We’ll have to see if that’s where Spielberg adds the car in, or if he moves it to a scene of his own designing. For now, I’m just glad to hear that he’s thinking about these things.


Image via Universal Pictures


Image via DreamWorks

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