The first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s anticipated Ready Player One was unveiled Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con. The footage features a host of pop culture references including the Iron Giant, Freddy Krueger, and the DeLorean from Back to the Future.
But at the SDCC Ready Player One press conference which followed, Ernie Cline, the author of the novel on which the film is based, revealed that there’s one Easter Egg you might have missed.
Cline added, “But it’s not anime, it’s a fully photo-realistic version of Akira’s bike. There’s lots of little stuff like that.”
Akira was a popular manga from the ’80s that became a cultural phenomenon. Screenwriter Zak Penn acknowledged a heap of other references to Japanese culture scattered throughout the film but wouldn’t reveal exactly what’s there.
“Here’s what I will say,” he teased. “There’s some crazy references to Japanese culture in this movie that you cannot possibly predict, and ones that you can predict.”
Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the film’s antagonist Nolan Sorrento, then interjected to say, “It’s safe to say that Steven [Spielberg] did regard me as the Mifune of the piece. I just had to work with that to the degree I could.”
Mifune was a prolific Japanese actor who worked on 16 films with legendary director Akira Kurosawa.
We think Mendelsohn was joking – but what if he wasn’t?
In a virtual world called Oasis, a teenager finds himself competing in a treasure hunt against ruthless foes after the game’s founder dies and offers his fortune as the grand prize.
Ready Player One will hit screens on March 30, 2018.