The pre-production of Ready Player One spent nearly 3 years trying to obtain the rights from different studios to use for the hundreds of Easter Eggs featured in the movie. Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Paramount, etc. But, it was heavily rumored that Steven Spielberg, who is one of George Lucas' best friends, was not able to secure rights from Disney and Lucasfilm to use Star Wars imagery in the upcoming big screen adaptation of Ernest Cline's nostalgia fest novel. These rumors have proven to be false by Spielberg, who confirms that Star Wars plays a part in the Ready Player One movie.
For those familiar with Ernest Cline's 2011 novel, the X-Wing Fighter plays a pivotal role in Ready Player One, but will it be featured in the movie? According to Steven Spielberg, it most certainly will, though it's not clear just how big of a part the iconic fighter ship will have. In a recent interview, the legendary director addressed the Star Wars rumors and indicated that there definitely are some Easter Eggs in the movie from the franchise. Spielberg had this to say.
"If you look very carefully you'll see an R2-D2 somewhere, you'll see an X-Wing somewhere. But we didn't want to use the main cultural icons from any of Disney's Star Wars films because those are ongoing. That's really part of our contemporary world right now, and even though it began in the 80s, it is so much a part of our real life today in the 21st century. So we asked for some of the smaller items and Disney gave us everything we asked for."
Steven Spielberg admits that you may have to look pretty closely for some of the Star Wars Easter Eggs, but they are there. He also turns down the notion that Disney and Lucasfilm would not let Ready Player One use their properties by stating that Star Wars is very much something that fits into the current cultural landscape, which is why they chose what they did and only used a little bit of. Ready Player One is firmly placed in the nostalgia from the 1980s and 90s.
As for collecting the rest of the properties, Steven Spielberg reveals that it was pretty difficult to collect all of the different IPs from the studios. As previously noted, it took nearly 3 years to track everything down and secure the right for all of the Easter Eggs that end up in the film. As it turns out, the director says that they wanted everything, and he was surprised about everybody coming on board to help. He explains.
"It was difficult because we were so greedy about wanting so many cultural references throughout the 80s and 90s, but everybody cooperated, you know. We got, 20th Century Fox and Universal and Paramount and Sony and Disney. Everybody basically came on board to help us take their IPs and allow us to create Easter eggs from their own cultural phenomenon."
Ready Player One ran into some backlash for using too much from the past in their marketing campaign, which has since changed direction to focus more on the story. Critics and fans were quick to point out that the movie just looked like a commercial promoting the classic movies and video games from the 80s and 90s, without showing any real substance. However, the reviews have started to trickle in, and it seems that those worrying about a lack of substance were maybe in the wrong. You can read the rest of the interview with Steven Spielberg via Erik Davis' Twitter account.