It was roughly one year ago that Steven Spielberg's sci-fi adaptation Ready Player One landed a 2017 release date (opens in new tab), and about six months ago that it was pushed back to 2018 (opens in new tab). It's unknown what caused the delay, but we've got reason to be confident in its more recent date change as the first set photos have started to spring up online.
The Warner Bros. movie is based on Ernie Cline's best-selling novel about a young lad named Wade Watts, who lives in a ramshackle slum on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. It's set in the year 2044, where real-life has become a misery for everyone and people find refuge in a giant virtual reality system named OASIS. Watts, played by Tye Sheridan, embarks on a mission to locate three Easter Eggs hidden with OASIS by its late designer. If he succeeds in his treasure hunt he'll receive a reward that everyone and their grandmother would quite like to get their hands on.
These first images show the early stages of production, as principal photography is due to start shortly. Set designers are really amping up the 'dismal dystopia' angle by burning out cars and highlighting the abundance of street graffiti in parts of Birmingham, England. Clearly this is the real world portion of the movie, and not the pristine glam of OASIS. It's definitely still set in the U.S. too, by the amount of American postal trucks shipped in for production. Check them out below:
Filming starts in Digbeth on Steven Spielberg's futuristic dystopian 'Ready Player One'. US postal truck on set. pic.twitter.com/ZNEvPvfNyhAugust 16, 2016
They're multiplying! Filming starts in Digbeth on Spielberg's Ready Player One. #ReadyPlayerOne pic.twitter.com/rvOb6C6woqAugust 16, 2016
More clapped out dystopian motors arrive with Ohio state registrations #ReadyPlayerOne pic.twitter.com/WyH0iCLlseAugust 16, 2016
Clapped out dystopian set prop car. Standard Digbeth backdrop. Great stuff #ReadyPlayerOne pic.twitter.com/UPpnaByPuZAugust 16, 2016
more shots pic.twitter.com/pCnmvjdxtXAugust 16, 2016
Another car that you're just going to have to trust me is for the movie & not just standard Digbeth. #ReadyPlayerOne pic.twitter.com/zrUf1A7aAIAugust 16, 2016
Film base in Digbeth @bbcmtd ...Spielberg spotting continues but it's very quiet here pic.twitter.com/lXtbUjklDXAugust 17, 2016
Movie lights and set prop cars. It's all so glamorous! (It couldn't be less glamorous)#ReadyPlayerOne pic.twitter.com/91DD86d3gRAugust 16, 2016
Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke (opens in new tab), Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, Ben Mendelsohn and Mark Rylance, Ready Player One opens in UK and US theaters on March 30, 2018.
Images: Broadway Books