The New 'Ready Player One' Trailer Is a Pop-Culture Onslaught

The trailer has Battletoads, Gundams, Lara Croft, Chuckie dolls, and a plot in there, somewhere.
December 11, 2017, 5:23pm

The new trailer for Steven Spielberg's upcoming Ready Player One is here—and the thing is so completely saturated with pop-culture references that you'll make your eyes bleed trying to spot them all.

The trailer, which dropped Sunday, pits everyone from King Kong to Gundam to Chuckie dolls against one another in some massive virtual war during its two-and-a-half-minute runtime—there's even a quick shot of Rash, Zitz, and Pimple for the Battletoads fans out there.

Just like the earlier Ready Player One trailers, the thing just begs to be combed through, frame by frame, to play Where's Waldo with Lara Croft or Ryu from Street Fighter. But this time around, the trailer gives us a real introduction to Ready Player One's protagonist, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), who lives in the future slums of Ohio and spends his life inside a virtual-reality world called the OASIS.

When the OASIS creator—played by Mark Rylance—dies, he reveals that he left a multibillion dollar treasure hidden within his virtual world. Watts teams up for this OASIS treasure hunt with another competitor named Art3mis to find the prize before a shadowy mega-corporation called IOI beats them to it. Oh, and everyone in the future is obsessed with 80s and 90s pop-culture nostalgia, apparently, hence all the Battletoads cosplayers and whatever.

Ready Player One is based on Ernest Cline's 2011 best-selling novel of the same name and is set to hit theaters in all its pop-culture referencing glory on March 30. Cline is also reportedly working on a sequel to the book, which will hit stores at some point in the not-so-distant future.

Until either of those things happen, watch this trailer again and marvel at how many licensed characters from your childhood it crams into a single, cluttered shot.