Steven Spielberg: Iron Giant Is Major Part of ‘Ready Player One’

Steven Spielberg
Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock

Steven Spielberg wasn’t sure he was the right director for “Ready Player One,” his upcoming science-fiction epic.

During a panel discussion at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, Spielberg said that after reading Ernest Cline’s best-selling novel about a virtual reality-addicted future, his first thought was “They’re going to need a younger director.”

Spielberg was joined onstage by Cline and the film’s stars, Tye Sheridan, Ben Mendelsohn, and T.J. Miller. Fans in Hall H were treated to a trailer for a film that overflowed with shout-outs to several geek staples. The gaming world that “Ready Player One” depicts enables players to interact with characters from pop culture staples from the ’80s and ’90s, such as “The Iron Giant,” “Tron,” “Akira,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Back to the Future,” and “Nightmare on Elm Street,” to name a few.


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“When I read Ernie’s book, it was the most amazing flash-forward and flash-back at the same time,” said Spielberg, noting the movie references an entertainment past he helped shape as the most popular director of the Reagan era. It also depicts a dystopian vision of a future in which people are leaving the United States. Virtual reality enables people to escape from their blighted present.

“You can do anything you can possibly imagine,” said Spielberg.

Creating that world took the filmmaker and his team two and a half years to create, he said. Miller joked that the end result is “a little more accurate than ‘The Lawnmower Man.'”

Spielberg was mum about “Ready Player One’s” twists and turns, but he did spill one plot detail that could lead to fan-gasms.

“The Iron Giant is a real major player in this story,” he confirmed.

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  1. Chris says:

    Kids today dont know who spielberg is and dont care either. Cline’s book is what they care about.

    Change that and you get the classic … “The Wrath of Kids”

  2. “You can do anything you can imagine”, is a very inciting mantra of my consciousness to continue to berimajunasi and make it happen. I can not be a steven spielberg, but I can realize my dream, become a distro owner who can travel around the world. And I believe it can happen

  3. %%% says:

    Spielberg is another over-rated fraud who throughout his career has conned the experts that he is a master film-maker. This fraud should be a straight to DVD film-maker. All his films stinks. Manipulative and fraudulent!

  4. Gary Ducharme says:

    as a huge fan of the book, this trailer looks like absolute utter crap. It looks like a CGI Michael Bay travesty of the worst order, and making Iron Giant a focal only emphasizes that this movie appears to be only loosely based on the book. Duke Nuke’m driving a whirling death machine wielding a weapon from Halo? What in the hell does this have to do with the novel? The tone of this teaser has nothing in common with the wonderful story and world of the novel. I know you can’t make a literal translation of a book all the time, but this looks absolutely nothing in common.. getting the copper key is a fucking care race? how insipidly unoriginal.

  5. Jimmy says:

    This looks amazing.

  6. Jonathan says:

    … and the fact that the Iron Giant is there at all means it’s massively different from the book, which makes me wonder what else they changed.

  7. Fred Barriskell says:

    One of the most obvious things I saw from the trailer was probably replacing Ultraman with The Iron Giant.

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