In an interview, Steven Spielberg said this was the third most difficult movie he has made in his career, behind Jaws (1975) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).
Besides the obvious Bigfoot, Delorean, and Akira vehicles, other notables in the race were the Mach 5, Batmobile, A Team van, V8 Interceptor, Christine, the Porkchop Express from Big Trouble In Little China and the Trans-Am from Smokey and the Bandit, the RV from Space Balls.
The spell cast to use the Orb of Osuvox is from the movie Excalibur. In modern Irish Gaelic, it's "Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh," which means, "Serpent's breath, charm of death and life, thy omen of making."
Spielberg worked with Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) to oversee the film's visual effects, meeting with ILM for 3 hours three times a week. A significant part of the film takes place in a virtual space based on the Overlook Hotel in the film The Shining. This was mostly a digital recreation of the film using high-quality telecine of the original film, giving them some freedom of new camera angles and shots that could be generated from this recreation. The final film includes a combination of the original footage from The Shining and ILM's additional work. Only a few scenes in this sequence which involved real actors, such as the appearance of the Grady twins, required them to construct a faithful reproduction of The Shining's set for the actors to interact with. Finally, the sequence was post-processed to introduce film grain and other aging effects to make the new footage indistinguishable from the original film. ILM also had to faithfully produce digital recreations of several of the cultural references that appear throughout the film, including the DeLorean time machine, the Iron Giant, Chucky, and King Kong that was modeled after the 1933 version of the character. The Tyrannosaurus rex from Jurassic Park was also recreated using the same base model that ILM had previously created during the original film production.
Parzival's belt in the Oasis has the Thundercats (1985) logo on it. The belt itself is the same style as Han Solos.
The Zemeckis Cube is named after director Robert Zemeckis. When the cube is activated, the music playing is from the Back to the Future (1985) trilogy, directed by Zemeckis. Alan Silvestri composed the score for both the Back to the Future trilogy and this film.
Steven Spielberg is referenced (along with some of his movies) in Ernest Cline's source novel. Spielberg had stated that he would remove these references, although some like the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the alien ship from War of the Worlds (2005), do appear.
Ready Player One, as in the book, pays homage to popular culture from various time periods, mainly the 1970s and 1980s but also extending to the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s; reviewers have identified well over a hundred references to films, television shows, music, toys, video games, anime and comics from these eras. Cline did not have any issues with these copyrighted elements when he published the book, but was aware that securing all necessary rights would be a major obstacle for a film adaptation. This task was eventually made easier thanks to Spielberg's reputation in the film industry. Spielberg and producer Kristie Macosko Krieger spent several years securing the rights for the copyrighted elements used in the film long before filming began, knowing that some scenes would not be possible without certain copyrighted elements. In the end, Spielberg estimated that they managed to get about 80% of the copyrighted elements they desired, noting that in some cases, the filmmakers were able to secure rights for some but not all the characters they wanted. In negotiating with Warner Bros., they could not secure Close Encounters of the Third Kind from Columbia Pictures, despite the latter being one of Spielberg's first films as director. Blade Runner, which was integral to the plot of the book, was off-limits as Blade Runner 2049 was in production at the same time as Ready Player One; as a replacement, the creative team had the players play through the events of The Shining, which Spielberg was able to secure the rights to as an homage to his friend Stanley Kubrick. While Cline's original work heavily used the character of Ultraman, the rights over the character were still under legal dispute, requiring them to replace Ultraman with the titular robot from The Iron Giant and RX-78-2 Gundam. Spielberg recognized that his past films were a significant part of the 1980s popular culture cited in the book, and to avoid being accused of "vanity", he opted to remove many of the references to his own work. Cline stated that he believed Spielberg wanted to avoid self-references to films he directed, due to the criticism he received for his film 1941, which lampooned his own previous works Jaws and Duel. Cline said he had to convince Spielberg to include some iconic elements, such as the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future, which Spielberg conceded as the film was one he produced rather than directed. Spielberg also allowed the Tyrannosaurus rex from his own Jurassic Park to be included. Cline also asked ILM to include a reference to Last Action Hero, one of Penn's first screenplays, without Penn's knowledge.
The box containing the Orb of Osuvox is the same one Gizmo is in when he's given to Billy in Gremlins (1984).
The music score was originally going to be composed by longtime Steven Spielberg collaborator John Williams. However, due to scheduling conflicts working on another Spielberg film, The Post (2017), he left and Alan Silvestri took over. This was only the third film where Spielberg did not collaborate with Williams.
The semi-truck blocking the road in the middle of the opening race is the truck driven by Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China (1986).
During the race sequence, when King Kong appears, the theme from the original 1933 film composed by Max Steiner is played.
Art3mis uses the M41A Pulse Rifle from the film Aliens as her weapon of choice in the Oasis.
During the first race, when the 1966 Batmobile comes to a skidding stop, the skidding sound effect is the same cadence as the Na na na na na na na na from the opening credits of the Batman TV theme.
Oasis is actually an acronym. It stands for Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation. This is mentioned in Ernest Cline's source novel but not mentioned in the film.
In the scene where Halliday and Morrow are discussing the date with Kira, Halliday's monitor shows that he is working on the build of Room 237 of The Shining (1980).
During the race sequence the marquee of a theater can be seen. It reads "Schwarzenegger Jack Slater III". This is a nod to Arnold Schwarzenegger's film Last Action Hero (1993), also written by Zak Penn. According to Penn the nod was unintentional and was included by ILM staff as suggestion by co-writer Ernest Cline. Penn himself didn't know about it before the release of the first trailer.
During the scene inside the shop, in the background you can see the flying RV from Spaceballs (1987), the EVA pod from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), a Colonial Viper from Battlestar Galactica (1978), a star fighter from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979), ED-209 from RoboCop (1987), and a loader from Aliens (1986).
In the scene where they are discussing Art3mis's possible real life persona, there is a picture of Wil Wheaton on the mirror. In the book, Wil is vice-president of the Oasis user council. He also reads the audio book for this and Ernest Cline's second novel, Armada.
At one point in the movie, the gang goes into a simulation of the hotel from The Shining (1980). In real life, Steven Spielberg was close friends with The Shining's director, Stanley Kubrick. Spielberg even once called the scene where Wendy finds Jack's novel as "a great example of counter intuitive direction".
Halliday's Oasis avatar is named "Anorak." In UK English, it's a slightly derogatory slang term for someone with an obsessive, comprehensive interest in a particular aspect of pop culture, a hobby, or a specialty or niche subject. That level of obsessive fandom is the point of the Halliday character and his creation of the Oasis.
During the garage scene, you can see a copy of the ED209 robot from RoboCop (1987).
Steven Spielberg made The Post (2017) while he was waiting for Industrial Light & Magic to create close to 1,500 digital effect shots for this movie. Other movies he directed while the previously-made film was in post-production through ILM were E.T. (1982) during Raiders (1981) and Schindler's List during Jurassic Park (both 1993).
Around the 35' mark, Halliday is shown on the cover of WIRED magazine with a QR code. The code is readable, and links to an accompanying article on Halliday (July 2018).
The film includes characters from pop culture staples of the 1980s and 1990s, including The Iron Giant (1999), TRON (1982), Akira (1988), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Back to the Future (1985), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Tomb Raider (1996), and Duke Nukem (1991).
Christopher Nolan, Robert Zemeckis, Matthew Vaughn, Peter Jackson and Edgar Wright were all considered to direct this film.
Parzival may be driving the DeLorean from "Back to the Future", but the back-and-forth red lights in the car's front grill are a nod to KITT in "Knight Rider" as well as the Cylons in the original "Battlestar Galactica" (both produced by Glen Larson).
The space ship Daito flies in on during the last battle to fight Sorrento is "Serenity," a firefly-class freighter from the beloved but short-lived TV show Firefly (2002) and its film sequel Serenity (2005).
The Curator, who guides people around Halliday's Journal, is based on Arthur Treacher, best known for playing butlers and other British roles.
The film was scheduled to be released on December 15, 2017. It was pushed back to March 30, 2018, to avoid competition with Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).
Shipped to some cinemas under the pseudonym "Deep Blue". Deep Blue was a supercomputer most known for playing the game chess against, and beating, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.
During the club scene, when Parzival and Art3mis meet you can briefly see Commander Shepard from the popular video game trilogy Mass Effect awkwardly dancing which is ironic considering in the game it's a running joke that Shepard can't dance.
When Ogden Morrow arrives, he claims that he flew in on a magic sleigh. In the book, Morrow was described as resembling Santa Claus.
The last rifle spawned by Artemis is a Lancer Assault Rifle with a chainsaw bayonet from the Gears of War games.
Warner Bros. and De Line Pictures won an auction for the rights to Ernest Cline's novel in 2010, before it had been published.
Another Steven Spielberg reference can be seen in Halliday's attic, where a poster for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) can be spotted on the wall.
When Sorrento meets I-R0k about the orb, a crashed ship from the George Pal version of The War of the Worlds (1953) is visible, making the original sounds.
The TARDIS from Doctor Who (1963) can be seen in the background of the first scene in the shop.
Alan Silvestri worked closely with director Steven Spielberg to achieve the right direction for the original musical score that would not only be distinctive but would not allude to any of the film's 1980s and 1990s pop culture references, and also evoke and enhance the film's story and tone of optimism, innocence, beauty and a sense of wonder and old-fashioned adventure that many Hollywood films of the 1980s and the 1990s utilized to great effect. In an interview with "Entertainment Weekly", Spielberg said of Silvestri's musical score for the film, "While all sorts of culturally iconic references populate 'Ready Player One', the score that Alan Silvestri composed is completely and intoxicatingly original. It's bound together by multiple themes that identify plot and character and is infused by such percussive adrenaline and soaring strings that Alan has made 'Ready Player One' appear to fly."
The team of pop-culture experts that help Sorrento hunt for the Halliday Easter Egg are called "oologists" in the movie. Oology is an actual science that studies and collects bird eggs.
In the end of the first trailer, the song "Jump" by Van Halen transitions to a sample of the intro song of Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990).
Toshiro's virtual avatar 'Daito' is a samurai which resembles Japan's legendary actor Toshiro Mifune who has played a samurai in many films during his long distinguished career.
A reference to Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) was planned in the screenplay but it was vetoed by Sony Pictures, even though it was one of the first films directed by Steven Spielberg.
When being quizzed about Halliday trivia, Wade answers Halliday's favorite Goldeneye multiplayer character was Oddjob. The programmers of Goldeneye note that Oddjob was an Easter egg as the autoaim was miscalibrated but unresolved, making him difficult to hit.
The teaser trailer contains Ghostwriter Music's adaptation of the song "Pure Imagination" from the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). It also contains a segment of the song "Tom Sawyer" by Rush.
On August 11, 2015, a rumor began circulating that Steven Spielberg was "courting" Gene Wilder to play OASIS creator James Halliday in his later years, which would've made this the first film Wilder has done since 1999. However, Wilder's dementia had progressed to a point where he could no longer remember lines and couldn't take the part.
The source novel references the TV series Spaced (1999), written by and starring Simon Pegg. Pegg plays Ogden Morrow in the movie.
Another major departure from the book is the character of I-Rok, who appears in the movie as a major character as a confidant and co-conspirator of Sorrento, while in the book he's mentioned twice. Once in Aech's private chatroom (where it's revealed Aech only lets him in as he's so awful at gunting he's a laugh to have around) and it's due to his online bragging that he knows Parzival & Aech that leads IOI to the first key challenge on Ludus. Other than these mentions in the first chapter, he doesn't appear anywhere else in the book.
During the first race the Silvercup Studios building can be seen seconds after King Kong lands on the track. The Silvercup Studios not only created lots of pop-culture productions, but the building itself is where the last fight of Highlander (1986) takes place.
In the opening scene, Wade takes off his eyeglasses and places them on a vintage metal lunchbox--Masters Of The Universe featuring He-Man--from 1983.
During the film's final battle sequence, the protagonist of Rooster Teeth Productions' "RWBY," Ruby Rose, can briefly be seen wielding her scythe/sniper rifle Crescent Rose.
In the garage scene where Parzival is showing off H's ships to Art3mis, a model of the Swordfish from Cowboy Bebop (1998) can be seen on the cart.
The Cyclops from Ray Harryhausen's The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) is seen during the first login scene and the final battle.
Nolan Sorrento's avatar, the Boss Man is based on Senator Armstrong in the video game Metal Gear Revengeance.
During the final large scale battle, Parzival spawns in a n A41 SPNKR rocket launcher from the Halo series. He uses it to shoot a rocket at the spider mech that Art3mis was on top of.
Warner Bros. and producer Donald De Line acquired the adaptation rights to Ernest Cline's novel while it was in galley form in a very aggressive bidding contest, beating rival studios Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox on 21 June 2010, just the following day after the publishing company Random House won the publication rights. Cline stipulated two conditions in the agreement with the studio: he and Eric Eason gets the first attempt to write the script on his book; Cline wants Steven Spielberg to direct it.
Ernest Cline based the relationship of James Halliday and Ogden Morrow on Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. However, Cline said the primary influence for the technopreneur characters are based on: Nolan Sorrento (Nolan Bushnell, Atari founder) James Halliday (Howard Hughes and Richard Garriott a.k.a Lord British / Ultima developer) Ogden Morrow (Harry Knowles, Ain't It Cool News founder)
In one scene near the end of the film, a random citizen can be seen wearing a futuristic version of the HTC VIVE VR headset. HTC participated in promotion of the film with VR arcade and home VR releases of Ready Player One VR mini-experiences with the most recently available VIVE headset.
In the Halliday Journals building, the floors of rows of video arcade game cabinets are only combinations of Pole Position (1982), Asteroids (1979), Millipede (1982), Pong (1972), Missile Command (1980), Tempest (1981), Dig Dug (1982), and one non-Atari game; Ms. Pac-man (1981).
When Wade and Samantha meet, she's wearing a Peter Saville original tee shirt, the design used for the Joy Division "Unknown Pleasures" album cover. Current value of the shirt is $310.
Sorrento is the only character who doesn't bother thinking of an avatar name, using his real name instead. This further illustrates his disdain for the Oasis and the pop-culture in general.
It has been noted that Family Ties (1982) was a major influence on Ernest Cline while writing the book. The series was set in Westerville, Ohio - a suburb of Columbus, the setting of this movie.
The IOI logo has a great resemblance to the monitor port symbol on many older laptops an PCs.
When Wade first goes to the club to meet Art3mis, the bartender has a Devo Hat on from their famous video Whip It.
During the High Five's trip to The Shining simulation, Sho mentions that he ended up watching the film through his fingers, hinting at how he's actually way too young to watch something like that. It also explains why he was the one of the group to total his car in the race despite the total lack of obstacles on the correct path, as children are not usually known for their driving prowess.
Briefly seen in an arms display in the office of Sorrento is the signature pistol (modified Taurus 85) carried by Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the series Firefly (2002).
A passage from the source novel describes Wade's obsession and "research" of Anorak's Almanac, Halliday's journal chock full of references to 1980s books, movies, TV shows, music, and video games. One of the filmographies that Wade studied from the Almanac was Steven Spielberg.
Before the final battle for the Oasis, when Wade is giving his speech, you can see the emblem for The Greatest American Hero (1981) on the side of his headpiece.
When Wade sees Sorrento's rig while he's a hologram he says it looks like a giant hamster ball this is the same description given in the book to describe Ogden Morrows OASIS rigs at his house that the heroes use at the end of the story.
Art3mis uses what appears to be the "Lawgiver II" from the 1995 feature film adaptation of Judge Dredd.
The Curator bears resemblance to the butler mascot of "Ask Jeeves," a search engine from the 90s.
Elle Fanning and Lola Kirke were considered for the role of Art3mis before Olivia Cooke was cast.
Ernest Cline was heavily inspired by the anime Summer Wars (2009) for his novel, but it is not mentioned in the movie despite other anime references.
When showing off Aech's stuff to Art3mis, Parzival mentions a "Harkonnen Drop-Ship" that can go "from Incipio to Arrakis" in a very short time. Incipio is the entry point to the Oasis located in Sector 1 - its name appears on the central jump gate in the beginning of the movie and shortly after that the viewers meet Parzival for the first time as he is walking on Incipio adjusting his hair. Arrakis is the main planet from the "Dune" book series, which apparently exists in the Oasis as well, though it is never shown or mentioned again.
The film involves finding "Easter eggs" (hidden references), and the film itself opened on Easter weekend.
Towards the end of the movie, Halliday's final words are "Thank you for playing my game". This is a possible nod/reference to Super Mario 64 (1996), in which Mario says the same thing after the end credits, "Thank you so much for playing my game."
This marks the first Steven Spielberg-directed film for Warner Bros. Pictures since A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001).
First Steven Spielberg film to have 70mm motion picture prints made since Hook (1991).
With the exception of Samantha, Wade never calls any of the other High Five members by their real names after meeting them in the real world.
The handguns Wade and Daito hold on Sorrento when they hack his avatar are a suppressed IMI Desert Eagle Mark VII in .44 Magnum and a Heckler & Koch Mark 23.
Tracer from the popular video game Overwatch (2016) is voiced by Cara Theobold, who is also the voice of Tracer in the game. Also, at one point in the Distracted Globe club, a Tracer is seen dancing with a woman, a reference to an Overwatch comic book that revealed that Tracer is a lesbian.
As Wade is explaining the OASIS just after the casino planet part the camera pans over some planets on its way to where all the avatars are spawning, one of these planets is called Ludus which is the school planet that Wade, Aech and I-R0k all attend virtual school on in the novel.
Some controversy emerged after Tye Sheridan was cast. Casting website Cast It Talent had advertised that the film was seeking "unknown talent" for the lead role. Several people sent in audition videos in hopes of being cast. When news of Sheridan's casting came out less than a day after the casting campaign ended, the reaction of people who auditioned ranged from understanding that they likely wouldn't be picked to outrage because they felt they had been lied to.
The "Auto 9", the modified Beretta 93R machine pistol from the original RoboCop (1987), is briefly used by Parzival during the shootout in the dance club.
Production was set to begin in July 2016. Screenwriter Zak Penn tweeted on July 1, 2016 that the first week of filming had been completed. In August and September 2016, filming took place in Birmingham, England; this included Livery Street in the Jewellery Quarter area of the city, which was extensively used, including the van chase that takes place towards the film's end. The chase was edited to make the street appear longer than it actually is. The backpackers hostel Hatters, also on Livery Street, was used for internal filming for a basement scene. The Ludgate Hill Car Park lot on Lionel Street, in which caravan homes were partially built was also used and a planned explosion there caused some local business and homes to call emergency services, as no prior notification were given by the production team. Other locations in the city included the former industrial area of Digbeth, in a rooftop scene that overlooks the Birmingham City Centre skyline. Some of the city's landmark buildings were erased and replaced with CGI buildings to create a dystopian Ohio in the year 2045. Principal photography ended on September 27, 2016.
In the final battle scene when the rest of the avatars join in the fight, Parzival is seen holding a boom box above his head, which may be a reference to the '80s film Say Anything... (1989), where John Cusack holds a boom box to show how much he loves his girlfriend. This scene has also been referenced in The Simpsons (1989) and many other pop culture outlets. Say Anything was also one of the movies the High-Five clan could've chosen when trying to figure out what movie Halliday went on his date.
Halliday's company is called "Gregarious Games". The word "gregarious" refers to being a part of a community and enjoying the company of other people, which is what OASIS is all about.
A gray Renault AVANTIME crosses the screen from right to left before we see Aech/Helen's truck hiding. The Avantime was a futuristic car brought to the market in 2000 by Renault. The name comes from the French word "avant" that means "ahead" and the English word "time". Only 8,450 units were made at the Matra factory, and just over 5,000 were sold. It still looks futuristic in the year 2045.
Nick Robinson and Nat Wolff were considered for the role of Wade Watts/Parzival before Tye Sheridan was cast.
Although the movie is suppose to be set in Columbus, Ohio there really are no scenes (other than the newspaper clippings in Wades room) that would establish this except for one when Wade first meets Samantha in real life and looks out over a city skyline shot from a distance. The skyline shot while generic looking does have 2 identifiable Columbus buildings, the LeVeque Tower and the Huntington Center....which are on either side of the fictional IOI building. The LeVeque tower can be also be briefly seen in the opening shot of "The Stacks" far in the background.
When Halliday is searching for the easter egg you see a Mac LC "pizza box". The original Mac in 1984 created a revolution in both graphic user interfaces, operating systems, the integration between OD and hardware, and computer graphics. The LC, in 1990, was the next revolution on the Mac side and the introduction of OS7 a few months later completely revolutionized the computing interface and was the direct inspiration for Windows 95. It was also hugely popular among creatives in the areas of graphics, video, and 3-D. Naturally, along with a series of gaming stations, Windows PCs, and Linux boxes, the would have been one of Halliday's early stepping stones on the way to creating the Oasis.
During the scene in the dance club where i-R0k tells the girls to leave the booth, the song "Blue Monday" by New Order is playing. In the movie The Wedding Singer (1998) (which is another movie deep in 80s trivia), the same song is playing when Adam Sandler and his co-stars are in a very similar dance club in a nearly identical booth.
The start up screen for the Oasis is very similar to the start screen to the Nerve Gear from the anime Sword Art Online (2012), with colors flying toward the viewer and the logo appearing. Sword Art Online has a very similar concept to Ready Player One, but it is unclear if this was a reference or just a coincidence.
The virtual reality racing vehicles do the same spiral jump as James Bond did in live action in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).
Jane Douglas from the video game YouTube channel Outside Xbox (2009) is an extra in this film. In the first trailer, she's sitting just behind a guy with the numbers 665312 on his helmet.
Steven Spielberg's first movie to gross over $100 million domestically since Lincoln (2012).
Another 80s reference is the bag of Doritos on the passenger side of the van right after the cataclysm goes off and they find Artemis wandering in the street, and after Wade's uncle Rick punched him and he fell on the floor, a pack of Doritos with the same design can also be seen on the coffee table at the background. unless they remade the iconic logo in a nostalgic re-release of the famous nacho chips, in the year 2045, they'd be toting around (and/or eating) a 60 year (give or take a couple years) bag of Doritos.
This was the fourth time a Steven Spielberg film wasn't composed by John Williams, after Duel (1971), The Color Purple (1985) and Bridge of Spies (2015).
When the camera pans out just before Sorrento is arrested, an old man among the cheering crowd is wearing a brown jacket in the center of the frame and appears to be James Halliday without glasses.
At IOI headquarters, a screen in the "fanboy" control room is showing a digital Manhattan Island. Same one as in the Beginning of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
The tiny cars at the stacks were Zagato Vulpes, the smallest electric car on the market; in front of IOI was a row of Renault Twizys, also electric, but large enough to seat two.
When Z, Artemis and Aech first walk into Aech's shop sitting against the wall is Pee Wee's Bike from Pee Wee's Big Adventure
The theory Aech gives on who Art3mis could actually be is almost exactly what Wade tells himself in the novel to keep himself grounded (or at least try to) he also tells Art3mis this is who she could be when they are chatting/flirting.
Any time Sorrento or his avatar wear a tie in the movie, there is an inscription on that tie that says "NSIOI". "NS" stands for "Nolan Sorrento" and IOI is his company.
The third collaboration of Mark Rylance and Steven Spielberg after Bridge of Spies (2015) and The BFG (2016).
After winning the first key, Parzival goes to buy some cool stuff in a store called "Avatar Outfitters". This is a clear reference to "Urban Outfitters" - a large US retail company.
The quote by Halliday "Reality is the only place where you can get a decent meal" is a quip over a similar quote by Woody Allen (the original quote mentioned "a good steak" instead), and often mistakenly attributed to Groucho Marx.
The Overlook Theatre in the film resembles The Senator Theatre in Baltimore, MD. Director Barry Levinson premiered several films there and is good friends with Steven Spielberg.
The film also marks the first Warner Bros. Pictures production since Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) to be co-produced by DreamWorks Pictures. In the case of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), it was co-produced with Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and Amblin Entertainment.
In the opening scene, as Wade is leaving his place and "Jump" by Van Halen is playing, David Lee Roth sings "gotta roll with the punches" at the exact moment that the camera passes a woman boxing with OASIS gear on.
Much of Parzival's body language, particularly his dorky swagger upon first meeting Art3mis, appears to be based on Keanu Reeves's portrayal of Ted "Theodore" Logan in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure - a film referenced during Parzival's first visit to Halliday's Journal, when Halliday suggests to Ogden Morrow that maybe they should be going backward instead of forward, and adds, "Bill and Ted did!"
Art3mis's real-world surname is Cook, which is similar to that of the actress who plays her, Olivia Cooke.
The Overlook Theatre in Oasis is named after the hotel of same name in the movie The Shining (1980).
The name "Sixers" comes from the number six. It's the first number that every avatar playing for the IOI has on their chests.
In the film, Wade Watts says he got his name because his father thought it sounded like a superhero's name, like Bruce Banner (Hulk) or Peter Parker (Spiderman). Coincidentally, this is not the only film in which actor Tye Sheridan plays a hero with an alliterative name. He also portrays Scott Summers (Cyclops) in the X-Men universe.
When Parzival saves Art3mis, she removes her helmet and throws it into Parzival's stomach. This is reminiscent of when Steve Martin's character in "The Jerk" meets a female biker who, additionally, had red spiky hair much like Art3mis.
Tye Sheridan plays a character that spends a significant portion of the film wearing a gadget over his eyes, just like his character, Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) .
Just before Wade and Samantha share The Big Damn Kiss, Wade mentions he is going to take the leap -- referencing how the second clue mentioned how Halliday did not do that by kissing his date. Wade's apology for shooting Art3mis to prevent her discovery by Sorrento is a callback to his being locked out of the hideout when IOI burst in and captured everyone.
Frequent Steven Spielberg collaborators Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks were considered for James Halliday.
The book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was the subject of a podcast called "372 Pages We'll Never Get Back," where comedians Mike Nelson (of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax) and Conor Lastowka (author and employee of RiffTrax) read chapters each week and scrutinized them, concluding they did not care for it. After the release of the film, they performed an episode dedicated to discussing the movie and how it, too, did not meet their standards. Eventually, the film was officially riffed on RiffTrax, by Mike, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett.
In RP1, T.J. Miller plays alongside a character named Wade Watts. In Deadpool, Miller plays alongside a character named Wade Wilson. In the former, they are enemies. In the latter: allies.
A critic described the novel which the film is an adaptation of as "The Matrix meets Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".
Three cast members have also appeared on Game of Thrones (2011): Ralph Ineson, Kae Alexander, and Hannah John-Kamen.
The film is not just a science fiction action adventure film it is also a mystery story. The reason for this is because in the movie, Wade setts out to uncover the secrets of The OASIS's deceased creator James Halliday as he sets out to find the Easter Egg which he will become the heir of the OASIS.
The two quarters placed over James Halliday's eyes are from 1972. The birth year of Halliday and the first commercially successful video game, Atari's Pong. The cost to play: 25 cents
Two cast members have appearances in the X-Men universe: Tye Sheridan, and T.J. Miller.
Four cast members have appearances in the MCU: Ben Mendelsohn, Letitia Wright, Ralph Ineson, and Hannah John-Kamen.
During the scenes when Halliday hands over the egg a Commodore 64 disc drive is seen under the desk. Could be related to chuckie egg game from the 80's. Platform game requiring the player to move through 5 levels and the chance to get an extra life and an egg.
Percival was one of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, first written about by Chretien de Troyes, then later Thomas Malory and Wolfram von Eschenbach. In the legend and the movie Excalibur (1981), Percival rose from humble beginnings to become a knight. He and the other Round Table knights undertake a quest to find the (largely symbolic in the movie) 'Holy Grail' that will revitalise the kingdom of King Arthur. As previously mentioned, the spell used to activate the Orb of Osuvox is the 'Charm Of Making' from Excalibur (1981). The name Percival in German is 'Parzival'.