The next Steven Spielberg movie, Ready Player One, is about to begin production at Leavesden Studios outside of London any day now. Based on Ernie Cline's novel, Ready Player One is a nostalgia-soaked paean to the 80s, and very specifically to the Amblin-era of entertainment. Which is why I thought it was so weird that Steven Spielberg would take on the movie version - this is a book that is largely about how great he is, and I've never seen him as a back-patter.
So when I sat down at a roundtable with Spielberg this week for The BFG I had to ask him about this. I asked how he keeps Ready Player One from just being 'look how awesome we were in the 80s.'
"I think we were pretty awesome in the 80s," Spielberg laughed. "I hope this brings all of us back to the awesomeness of the 80s. I love the 80s, and one of the reasons I decided to make the movie is that it brings me back to the 80s and lets me do anything I want... except with my own movies."
That's interesting, because Spielberg's films are major reference points in Ernie Cline's novel. And not just the ones he directed - Cline is very famous for having a DeLorean time machine that he drives everywhere.
"I cut all the references to my own movies," Spielberg explained. "With a couple of exceptions, like the DeLorean. And I was very happy to see that there was enough that even without me the 80s were a great time to grow up."
As someone who grew up in the 80s I'm not sure I fully agree with that, but who wants to disagree with Spielberg when it comes to the decade he defined in pop culture?