Steven Spielberg Couldn’t Get ‘Star Wars’ Rights For ‘Ready Player One’

Steven Spielberg’s nostalgia-filled sci-fi epic Ready Player One is packed full of references to many of pop culture’s iconic franchises, but it’s missing maybe the most well-known in Star Wars.

The film adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name follows Wade Watts on his journey to win ownership of the OASIS – a Matrix-like internet-based simulation that allows people to live out their wildest (usually TV and film-based) fantasies in virtual reality – has already inspired fans to pour through trailers and posters in search of easter eggs and references. Superman, Back to the Future, The Lost Boys, The Breakfast Club, and plenty more have all been referenced in the advertising campaign for Ready Player One so far. Cline’s 2011 novel included pop culture references woven into its dystopian tale, including nods to WarGamesDune, Ghostbusters, and the band Rush, amongst many, many others.

Screen Rant attended the Ready Player One press conference, where Steven Spielberg revealed some of the properties that they couldn’t get the rights to, such as Star Wars. “We couldn’t get any Star Wars rights … They wouldn’t give up the Star Wars rights.” At that point, Ben Mendelsohn joked that Spielberg could’ve asked him for help getting the rights, since he starred in Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. “You could’ve called me on that one, Steve. I built the Death Star, I’m just saying.”

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James is an active member of the Star Wars collecting community, and is the Brand Director for Jedi News. James is also the host of the Star Wars Collectors Cast, and co-host of RADIO 1138 on the Jedi News Network.