We’re slowly becoming convinced that Steven Spielberg’s new pop-culture hurricane, Ready Player One, is being secretly bankrolled by the people who put together those “Did You Spot All The Easter Eggs In So-and-So” videos on YouTube; the new trailer for Spielberg’s film arrived today, and it’s even more jammed full of blink-and-you’ll-feel-liked-you-missed-it moments than the first one, from Comic-Con earlier this year.
As before, the whole thing centers on Tye Sheridan’s Wade Watts, a poor orphan who gets all of his life’s fulfillment—including his more, uh, intimate needs, apparently—from the OASIS, the brainchild of stringy-haired Steve Jobs copy James Halliday, the ultimate nerd culture gatekeeper. Upon his death, Halliday sends the planet on a pop culture scavenger hunt to gain control over the Oasis, much to the dismay of be-suited bad guy Ben Mendelsohn, who’d like all that power for himself.
That all kind of seems like fluff, though; the movie is clearly all about watching various pop culture heroes duke it out, whether it’s a race scene featuring Doc Brown’s DeLorean, Speed Racer’s Mach 5, and Buckaroo Banzai’s Oscillation Overthruster, or a battle that sees the Iron Giant face off against Chucky The Killer Doll and Tracer from Overwatch while Voltron watches from overhead. There’s some lip service here to the idea that this kind of masturbatory self-indulgence can be rallied in favor of actual social change—the line “Welcome to the rebellion” gets tossed out—but that seems secondary to Spielberg and author Ernest Cline’s actual goals. Ready Player One comes out March 30, 2018.