Audiences loved him as the young Scott Summers / Cyclops in Bryan Singer’s 2016 flashback of the superhero franchise, “X-Men: Apocalypse.” Now, Tye Sheridan stars as the underdog Wade Watts in Steven Spielberg’s epic adventure “Ready Player One” (in Philippine cinemas Saturday, March 31.)
Based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller which has become a worldwide phenomenon, “Ready Player One” is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.
At first glance, Wade Watts would not appear to be your typical image of a hero. Spielberg says, “Every film I produced or directed in the `80s had underdogs as heroes, and Wade is certainly an underdog. He’s a smart but somewhat disenfranchised young man who is in a very unhappy place in his life: his parents have died and he’s living with his aunt and her current boyfriend in a rundown vertical trailer park in Columbus, Ohio, called the Stacks. His only personal satisfaction comes in trying to win Halliday’s contest in the OASIS.”
Tye Sheridan affirms, “Wade idolizes James Halliday and has devoted countless hours to studying every detail of his life, looking for any insight that will help him in his quest to be ‘first to the Egg.'”
Once in the OASIS, Wade disappears into his avatar, Parzival, a name inspired by the knight who found the Holy Grail. Describing his dual role, Sheridan says, “Wade and Parzival are very different people; Parzival is everything Wade is not. Wade is kind of this skittish guy who’s shy and closed off from everyone, while Parzival is confident, brave, resourceful and very skilled.”
Parzival is also more social. In fact, Spielberg comments, “His only friends are in the OASIS. He’s never met any of them as anything but their avatars and he’s happy with that. Everything that matters to him exists on this virtual plane.”
Sheridan concludes, “I love that ‘Ready Player One’ delivers such an important message about embracing who you are. All the heroes in our movie are different types of people. It shouldn’t matter what your race, gender, age or physical appearance is.”
“Ready Player One” also stars Olivia Cooke (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” “Bates Motel”), Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One – A Star Wars Story”) and T.J. Miller (“Deadpool”), with Simon Pegg (the “Star Trek” movies, the “Mission: Impossible” movies) and Oscar winner Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “Dunkirk”).
“Ready Player One” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
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