Ready Player One first set images reveal a lot of graffiti and clapped out cars

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: 

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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 

Gem Seddon is GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter, working to keep all of you updated on all of the latest and greatest movies and shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Outside of entertainment journalism, Gem can frequently be found writing about the alternative health and wellness industry, and obsessing over all things Aliens and Terminator on Twitter.