With the release of Ready Player Two comes one particular scene that seems impossible to adapt into the impending film, and for good reason.
Ready Player Two is just as rife with pop culture references as the first book, but there’s one crucial scene in it that won’t be able to be adapted to the big screen, because of the character it’s built around. Despite Ready Player Two not being confirmed for movie adaptation quite yet, it seems inevitable that an impending film version is on the horizon, given the success of Spielberg’s edition of Ready Player One.
And while the writing has been mocked by many, there’s also sure to be a considerable number of people excitedly anticipating a potential movie sequel, as where Ready Player One ended – with the protagonists having won the epic virtual reality Easter egg hunt the plot details, and in doing so having won untold riches and prestige – seems a surreal starting point for the next installment. Even for those completely uninterested in the plot, the constant conveyer belt of references to countless books, films, and video games can prove entertaining to some all by itself. Between these two categories and individuals who have seen the surreal excerpts from the book all over Twitter and want to see if the film will be as strange, there’s plenty of potential viewers for Ready Player Two’s appearance on the movie screen.
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But one section of the book is sure to be unable to be fully adapted, as it would be both morally wrong and logistically impractical. This is because, in order to get one of the seven gems the heroes are tasked with recovering in the virtual world, the group has to fight what is known as “The Seven”. The Seven are seven versions of the musician Prince, each based around a different era of his musical career and life. The key issue here is that not only did Prince tragically pass away in 2016, but he was also incredibly against the idea of virtual reality, making potentially featuring a CGI version of him in the OASIS virtual reality feel a disrespectful idea on several levels.
Much to a Ready Player Two adaption’s chagrin, in an interview in 1998, Prince was asked about the process involving digitally editing in order to recreate the musical stylings of a dead artist, and if he’d ever considered “collaborating” in this manner. The musician passionately stated he would not, explicitly saying “The whole virtual reality thing… it really is demonic“, also referring to the fact he wanted artistic control of his likeness and work to “prevent” his voice or appearance being recreated in this manner. Years later, this would create controversy when Prince’s likeness was scheduled to be shown via hologram as part of Justin Timberlake’s Superbowl performance, eventually resulting in this portion of the performance being removed.
With this in mind, it seems more or less impossible for a film version of Ready Player Two to include this scene, as it would be actively ignoring Prince’s clear wishes on the topic of his likeness being used after his death. That would be a shame in terms of pure spectacle, because it’s such an impactful – and strange – sequence, and the idea of watching seven battling Prince bosses is quite something. That said, the original Ready Player One film didn’t follow every single aspect of the book it adapted, so it seems reasonable to assume Spielberg or any potential other directors would go into adapting Ready Player Two already aware that this portion of the text would need to be totally changed.
Next: Everything We Know About Ready Player Two
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