Final Warning: This post contains Ready Player One spoilers.
Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One landed in theaters this weekend, and so far the crowd seems highly divided on the Beard's latest. Some viewers have found themselves taken with the insane number of Easter eggs embedded in the film. Others have focused their attention on what this mega-budget adaptation of Ernie Cline's novel has to say about fandom's relationship with creators and intellectual property. Still others have dug in their heels, opting to complain about ... whatever. It's been hard to keep track of.
The Birth.Movies.Death. crew is just as divided as you are, but one thing we all seem to agree on is the second act sequence set within the world of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining: it's excellent. For about 10 minutes, Steven Spielberg transports us straight to the Overlook Hotel, playing with Kubrick's iconic imagery like an overstimulated kid monkeying around with a Stephen King playset. You get the Twins, the Elevator gag, the hedge maze - hell, we even get to pay a visit to the old crone who lives in Room 237's bathtub.
Today, IndieWire's got a brief interview up with Ready Player One screenwriter Zak Penn, who says the following about the sequence:
“(Co-screenwriter Ernie Cline) and I were, ‘Holy crap, he’s willing to do this!’ It was an insane sequence that was really difficult. Ernie and I spent weeks on different takes of what it should be about. It has a meta quality of an author who doesn’t like the movie adaptation of his book because they’ve changed it, and can’t believe he doesn’t like the movie adaptation.
“What’s happening is that the uber-geek is saying, ‘This is wrong, this isn’t the way the movie is, there’s no zombies in this movie, while Art3mis - who represents the balanced enthusiast or nerd - is saying, ‘That’s the point, it’s not supposed to be exactly like the thing you like so much, because [Halliday] wants you to stop focusing on that.'”
The sequence itself and Penn's comments on the matter are absolutely worth discussing, so we thought we'd open the floor to you, the gentle BMD readers of the world: what did you make of this set piece? Were you into it? Were you surprised by it? How much of that set do you think was actually built? What do you think about Penn's take on the material? This is your chance to discuss the whole thing from top to bottom, and we're very curious to hear your thoughts.
Make 'em heard in the comments section below.