Monday, May 22, 2017

STEVEN SPIELBERG X ULTRAMAN?! Are You Ready for Spielberg's Ready Player One?

Could Ultraman soon join forces with Steven Spielberg? Photo by Brett Homenick. 

An interesting bit of Ultraman news was brought to my attention today, although it has apparently been making the rounds among Ultra-fans.

Anyway, Steven Spielberg is set to release his film adaptation of the 2011 science fiction novel Ready Player One on March 30, 2018. As pretty much everything else in production these days, it seems the book (which I naturally haven't read) is overflowing with pop culture references from the 1970s and '80s (video games, movies, TV, etc.).

At some point in the novel, the hero, Wade Watts, transforms into Ultraman, complete with a Beta Capsule. Fighting ensues. Again, not having read the book, I have no idea what else happens or how important this aspect of the story is to the plot (to the extent there is one).

Spielberg and his team could very easily replace Ultraman with another character or eliminate the scene entirely. But, given that the point of the novel seems to be specific pop culture references to things a lot of us grew up with, why make the movie without them? Will they remove Ultraman but leave in Pac-Man?

We'll certainly find out in less than a year one way or the other, but I have to admit it's pretty interesting to think about a director as talented as Steven Spielberg taking a crack at Ultraman.

By the way, according to the film's Wikipedia page, British actress Hannah John-Kamen has been cast in the film. Let the speculation about the inclusion of a female Kamen Rider begin.

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