The novel Ready Player One was jam-packed with countless pop culture references, ranging from movies to TV to video games, resulting in director Steven Spielberg including homages to various corners of nerd culture in the film with his feature film adaptation. One of the more impressive sequences involved the main characters heading to the Overlook Hotel, a recreation of the creepy location from The Shining, in an incredible visual replication. According to Spielberg, it was a personal encounter he had on that film's set that led to its inclusion.
“It was nostalgic for me because I first met Stanley Kubrick on the set that I depict in Ready Player One,” the filmmaker confessed to Entertainment Weekly. "The main living area with the grand fireplace in the Overlook is where I first encountered Stanley in 1979 when I went to look at the soundstages. They were about to build the sets for Raiders of the Lost Ark in Elstree Studios.”
At that point in his career, Spielberg had delivered audiences the impressive hits Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but compared to Kubrick, Spielberg was a novice. Kubrick had previously given audiences 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove and many more.
Spielberg recalled that, while visiting the completed sets, Kubrick was taking photos of a scale model of the sets with a handheld camera.
“I looked at that and I said, ‘You’ve got the whole set and you’re looking for shots on a small quarter-inch of the scale tabletop model?’” Spielberg remembered. “And Stanley said, ‘Yeah, what’s wrong with that?’”
Despite that awkward interaction, Spielberg claimed that his time with the noted eccentric filmmaker was much more inviting.
“He was very warm, very complimentary. He had seen some of my movies and invited me to his house for dinner that night,” Spielberg pointed out. “We stayed friends for 19 years after that. Until his death.”
The two are both considered some of the most accomplished and visionary filmmakers of the 20th century, with a collaboration eventually coming to fruition in 2001.
After Kubrick's passing in 1999, Spielberg began work on completing Kubrick's A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Kubrick purchased the rights to the short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long" by Brian Aldiss in the '70s, though development on the adaptation moved slowly until the filmmaker passed the project to Spielberg in the '90s. The filmmaker's passing motivated Spielberg to finally bring the project to fruition.
Ready Player One is out now on Digital HD and hits Blu-ray on July 24th.
Did you appreciate the homage to the horror film? Let us know in the comments below!
[H/T Entertainment Weekly]