Ernest Cline on the Blade Runner scene in Ready Player One that never was

SPOILERS for READY PLAYER ONE. It's no surprise that Steven Spielberg's recent adaptation of Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One" contained a pop-culture smorgasbord which referenced more franchises than you could shake a kitchen sink at, but there's one franchise which could have become a major part of the movie, and that's BLADE RUNNER. We'll talk more about where BLADE RUNNER would have fit into the story below. Remember, spoilers.

In their quest to obtain the second key, Parzival (Tye Sheridan), Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), Aech (Lena Waithe), Daito (Win Morisaki), and Sho (Philip Zhao) enter a re-creation of THE SHINING straight out of the Stanley Kubrick film, but Ernest Cline told Empire that the original idea would have found the characters entering the world of BLADE RUNNER instead. "Initially we had talked about Blade Runner and the Voight-Kampff test, which is in the novel," Cline said. "Steven loved Blade Runner, had visited the set of Blade Runner, [is] friends with Ridley Scott, and Warner Bros owns Blade Runner. But the rights to Blade Runner are a little bit complicated, and they weren't able to get permission to do it." Screenwriter Zak Penn has previously said that BLADE RUNNER references were in the cards, but due the original release of READY PLAYER ONE coming in a little too close to BLADE RUNNER 2049, Warner Bros. wouldn't allow it.

Ernest Cline added that they explored a few different options, including MONTY PYTHON and WAR GAMES, before deciding upon THE SHINING. "Once we zeroed in on what Stanley Kubrick movies were released in the 80s, it was just Full Metal Jacket and The Shining," Cline said. "Once Steven saw The Shining, it was all over. He got so excited and so did Janusz Kamiński, because they're the biggest Kubrick Shining fanboys I've ever met. That was so much fun for me and Zak, because that was when we got to see our heroes start to geek out." As cool as it would have been to have seen BLADE RUNNER get the READY PLAYER ONE treatment, I certainly wouldn't trade it for THE SHINING sequence we did get.

READY PLAYER ONE is playing in theaters, so be sure to check out our own Chris Bumbray's review of the film and let us know what you thought!

Source: Empire



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