Steven Spielberg gave his fans a first taste of his upcoming movie about virtual reality, Ready Player One, at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.
In the film, based on a book by Ernest Cline who also co-wrote the film, everyone on Earth is addicted to a virtual reality game that allows them to escape the harsh realities of their futuristic world. When the creator of that game dies, he leaves behind clues that he says lead to his vast fortune. And so the hunt beings.
In the footage, a teen named Wade (Tyler Sheridan) says he was born in 2025 but wishes he was born in the '80s. His generation is "lost" because there's nowhere left to go — except for an escape into a virtual reality world.
He puts on a headset and enters a world where cars race in between wrecking walls and robots fight cowboys. (Other characters put on entire suits to play the game that Spielberg says let the players feel touch, pleasure and pain in the virtual world.)
Cline teased that there will be lots of old video game easter eggs in the movies. A few in the footage included the the Iron Giant, Freddy Krueger and the Delorean from Back to the Future.
Spielberg said he worked for two and a half years to bring the virtual world to life.
"When I read Ready Player One, it was like the most amazing flash forward and flash back at the same time to a decade I was really involved in, the 1980s, and to a future that's out there waiting for all of us."
Spielberg also revealed the movie will premiere in March 2018.
The cast includes longtime Spielberg collaborator Mark Rylance, Silicon Valley's T.J. Miller (sporting an E.T. T-shirt at the panel), Rogue One's Ben Mendelsohn, Hot Fuzz's Simon Pegg and Hannah John-Kamen, who played a First Order officer in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.