Early next year, audiences will be treated to Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of the Ernest Cliine novel Ready Player One. For those unfamiliar with the source material, the dystopian novel is set int the year 2044. Billionaire James Halliday passes away, and upon his death, a huge scavenger hunt is launched within OASIS, a huge massively multiplayer online game that he created. The winner will receive his entire estate. The book follows Wade Watts, a high schooler who manages to find the first big clue in this hunt, painting a target on his back, and setting him forth on a dangerous mission to attain Halliday’s riches.
Before getting into the specific details regarding this story (which will include character specifics), it’s important to give a little bit of extra backstory. The scavenger hunt set off by Halliday goes on for years without anyone finding clues. However, there is one company, IOI — run by the character Nolan Sorrento — that has hired hundreds of players to search for clues for them. These players are referred to as Sixers by other players (it’s a derogatory term), and they’re not above cheating, bribery, murder, and everything in between to get what they want. Needless to say, when Wade finds that first clue, he becomes a target of IOI and the Sixers.
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Enter Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller. Miller signed on some time ago to play the character i-R0k, and speaking with Fandango, Miller discussed some previously-unknown details regarding the character.
"I’m not in the book. Some plot points are different, but I’m the only new character. I play i-R0k and basically I am a funny, or at least mildly amusing, Boba Fett. In the OASIS, I am a better player than Aech or Daito or any of those guys. I am sort of unequivocally the best bounty hunter, but I work freelance. While all the Sixers work for IOI and Sorrento, he has to commission me, and I get an incredibly high fee to either find people and kill them or make them starve in the game.”
So i-R0k is basically a mercenary -- or bounty hunter. The comparison to Boba Fett is an apt one, as he’s perhaps one of the most noteworthy bounty hunter names out there.
"My character in the movie wants to be Boba Fett. Like that’s his hero, his idol, which isn’t far off for many Star Wars fans, myself included."
This all sounds pretty great, and it all seems to fall in line with the escalation one can expect in this film. However, I do find it a bit strange that they opted to go with the name i-R0k. While this sounds to be a different character from the book, it is worth noting that there is a character in the novel named i-R0k. In the story, he is nowhere near as good as the main group in OASIS, and is ultimately just a jackass poser who ends up ruining things for Wade and the group down the line.
Considering the relatively high profile nature of Miller as a comedian, it’s nice to hear they beefed up the role. We can’t wait to see how it all turns out.
Ready Player One hits theaters on March 30, 2018.
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