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See here for the book version.

Just like in the book, we'll see Wade's childhood, where he was practically "raised" by the OASIS.
And that will include cameos of Blue's Clues and Sesame Street.
  • Jossed. The movie doesn't show any part of his childhood.

In fact, there will be cameos of many characters we know, be they internet, TV, video game or otherwise. That includes:
  • Chucky (from Child's Play)
    • Confirmed, Aech tosses him to Parzival during the middle of the big battle who then throws Chucky into a group of Sixers where he proceeds to start stabbing them.
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  • Grumpy Cat
  • Ben 10
  • Batman
    • Confirmed on the flyby during our entry into the OASIS
  • Batman Beyond
  • Teen Titans (either the original or the Go! version)
  • Deadpool
  • Samus (from Metroid)
  • Link (from Legend of Zelda)
  • Mario and Luigi
  • Bowser
  • Angry Birds
  • The Crystal Gems (from Steven Universe)
  • Johnny Five (from Short Circuit)
  • Samurai Jack
  • Joker and/or Harley Quinn
    • Confirmed in the Distracted Globe nightclub
  • Willy Wonka
  • Chel (from Portal)
  • Zombies (just zombies in general)
    • Zombies show up in the second key trial which uses Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, even though none actually appeared in the original movie. Though the woman in the bathtub was referred to as one.
  • Freakazoid!
  • The Iron Giant
    • Confirmed, it shows up near the beginning of the movie as a commission Aech is building and gets used during the battle against IOI forces.
  • Optimus Prime
  • Twilight Sparkle (from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
    • Jossed: considering how much '80s pop culture is in this movie, Hasbro IPs are conspicuous by their absence: Transformers, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Jem.
  • Tracer (from Overwatch)
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    • Confirmed, implied to be someone's in-game avatar.
  • Jotaro Kujo (from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure)
  • Rick and Morty
  • Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel
  • Cuphead & Mugman
  • Monokuma (from Danganronpa)
  • Dallas (from PAYDAY)
  • Homer Simpson
  • Beavis and Butthead
  • CJ (from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
  • Jacket (from Hotline Miami)

The password to activate the Iron Giant...
...Will either be "You are who you choose to be" or "Superman"
  • Jossed, it's not really activated as much as it seems to function as a player skin.

Daito and Shoto will have Overwatch avatars.
  • Specifically Hanzo and Genji.
  • Or, if the Shimada brothers aren't their avatar, they will have Hanzo and Genji skins.
    • Jossed. They're in generic red samurai and yellow ninja skins respectively.

The film is one of the inaccurate in-universe adaptations of his story that Wade mentions in the book.
This is an easy Hand Wave for some of the creative liberties taken with the source material.
  • Or, this could be the real story, and Wade's story was actually incorrect (which would make his statement about how other adaptations got his story wrong quite ironic. Remember, Ready Player One, the novel, is Wade's autobiography, and autobiographies paint the author as the hero of their tale. I bet that if Aech or Art3mis were writing the story, they'd portray themselves and events differently from how Wade did. Heck, Wade may be drastically different from how he portrays himself in his story).
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The Oasis will be adapted into LEGO Dimensions.
It shares properties with it.
  • This is easily Jossed, considering how LEGO Dimensions was cancelled before the movie even came out.

Halliday uploaded his consciousness into the OASIS
It is left ambiguous at the end whether or not Halliday truly died; he seems too emotive and...well, "real" to be a simple AI or scripted NPC, and his "avatar" leaves it literally unanswered whether he is just a post-death avatar programmed to act like him or somehow actually real. I might also add that the "Halliday's Journal" library is literally described as the "next best thing" to actually accessing Halliday's brain, something which seems suspiciously specific in hindsight. Later on we also find out the British robot who runs it is actually Halliday's former friend.
  • Or, James Halliday is still alive, faking his death as a means of finally getting away from the OASIS and keeping an eye on the contest. Just because he says "yes" to Parzival when he asks if James Halliday is dead, it could be that Halliday is saying "yes" as of means of verifying he has abandoned his old self to start anew.

The Real Iron Giant Is Out There Somewhere
Some people were upset about an unapologetically violent Iron Giant considering his movie was pretty firmly anti-violence. I also had a more specific problem; those who know the Iron Giant movie know that IG has a war mode wherein his body basically becomes made of guns, the centerpiece being a huge chest cannon that is equivalent to a nuclear bomb in power. Essentially what I'm saying is that some people who saw the movie were angry about IG being violent while I'm annoyed that IG's full combat potential was not realized. Both complaints can be resolved as-is by the fact that IG is more of a player skin or vehicle than a separate character (i.e. he's not acting out of character because it's not him, and he's not as powerful because it's not him), but I think it can be fully put to rest on the idea that the "real" IG is somewhere out there.
  • Jossed. There is no "real Iron Giant" in the film, all the characters are just skins. They even showed how it was being made!

Fictional Characters are limited to their own universes
One of the primary draws of OASIS is the fact that it's basically the ultimate endgoal of entertainment; every single fictional character and franchise (that WB owns or could license for the film anyway, but one could say that limit doesn't necessarily apply in-universe) all existing in the same space. However, whenever we see fictional characters cameo in the final battle (i.e. the Halo SPARTANS) we see they're actually just the avatars of real people. This leaves me with the impression that the "real" fictional characters are out there but are somehow tied to certain locations for consistency.
  • This troper believes in the same thing. The opening scene has Wade mention that one can climb Mt. Everest with Batman. Perhaps the avatars can "rent" the "real" characters from their respective universes if that's the case.

The Battle for Castle Anorak WILL become an annual PVE/PVP Event
What better way to immortalize the entire OASIS coming together to take down IOI... than to do it again and again every year?
  • Well, it's safe to say the entire contest will be unlocked for all users after Wade winning the Egg. At very least, Art3mis will publish a walk-through, allowing users to be able to play the contest challenges for the fun of it.

In Ready Player One's future, Superman is popularly if not indeed primarily regarded as a villain.
While in reality it's likely simply because they're both commonly recognized and already available as 3D models, it's notable that all prominently featured DC characters (aside from a silhouette of Batman near the beginning), if not from the Batman: Arkham Series, are based on the models of Injustice 2, suggesting that in-universe that's the take on that world that's survived and thrived into 2045. Given that Sorrento - who while disconnected from and disinterested in pop culture would certainly recognize Superman, and would likely sympathize with the Regime Superman's view of humanity as foolish children needing to be taken by the hand - uses an avatar clearly modeled after Clark Kent when inside the Oasis, and the effective God of the Oasis in James Halliday is well-known as having gotten his favorite quote from Lex Luthor, what signs there are seem to point towards the world of tomorrow having a less than positive outlook on the Man of Tomorrow.

Halliday uploaded his consciousness into the OASIS
It would easily explain how such a advanced AI would exist and even have feelings for someone (Karen Underwood) it never actually met personally.
  • It makes even better sense that he actually faked his death and has been watching the contest for five years in a place where he can continue to live peacefully and in solitude. Besides uploading his brain to the OASIS would hypocrtically conflict with his message of "reality is the only thing that's real" that he tells Wade.

Halliday deleted himself after Wade won the OASIS
At the end we see either a highly advanced AI based off of Halliday or even Halliday himself; who uploaded himself into the OASISnote , leave his room for a much darker one before closing the door. The closing of the door would subject that he didn't want Wade or anyone else for that matter to follow him. The reason he deleted himself was because he was tired of living and was ultimately unhappy with his life.

For the film, Halliday inadvertently created the person that Sorrento became.
In the film, they made a change to where Sorrento and Halliday had a history together, where Sorrento was an intern for Gregarious Games. In the book, we know that he was previously a game programmer before he was hired by IOI because they figured a game programmer would be able to figure out Halliday's contest challenges. If the game programmer aspect of Sorrento from the book is preserved for the film due to him being an intern, it would explain how Sorrento became the businessman. Due to Halliday not listening to any suggestions (the suggestion he made for the paid-tier access we see in the film may have been one of a dozen or more suggestions he's made during his time there), as well as Sorrento being forced to do grunt work and not actually be able to see how Halliday and Marrow did their work, it could have lead to Sorrento giving up on being a game programmer.

Think about it like this: You love video games to the point where you want to make them, and then you get a video game programmer internship at Gregarious Games under James Halliday, probably one of the most important video game designers of his time. You think to yourself that you'll be able to get the chance to watch how this master makes his games. And when you get there, day-in and day-out, you're constantly doing grunt work, going to fetch coffee and not getting a chance to observe, let alone not having any of your input acknowledged or questions you have answered, especially with the type of person Halliday is (especially if he's anything like how he was described in the book, known for firing people because they didn't get a reference he made). Wouldn't that eventually break you to where you'd give up on your dream of being a game designer? Wouldn't you decide to focus on something that's more realistic, like being a businessman?

So, it's likely, for the film, Halliday inadvertently created the monster that is Sorrento as we know it. It could be possible at the end of the film, the reason why Sorrento didn't shoot Wade after receiving the Egg, that by the look on Wade's face, it reminded Sorrento of that person he used to be, that person who loved video games and wanted to be a programmer.

  • This would also make sense as to why IOI created the Sixers for Sorrento for the film. They would have checked to see if he had actually interned for Halliday, and probably wouldn't have made the group if he was anything else but a video game programming intern (this would rule out other internships, such as office intern).

The film not only adapts Wade's story...
Wade states in the book there's been several adaptations of his story, including films. The film could be construed as an adaptation of his story, but it's not SOLELY his story that's being adapted, but other tales of other Gunters long after contest with the High Five inserted into it. The race, the Shining Challenge, some of the changes to the big fight could all be from other adventures by other Gunters who happened to find some of the sidequests that Halliday created (he had that Pac-Man sidequest which gave Parzival the coin. What's not to say he didn't create others?). Maybe even the characterization of IOI and the High Five is incorrect, as the original story may have actually been Gunter vs. Gunter clans as they try to complete a side quest that's been rumored to have a high prize.

The real reason behind Art3mis's "tip" trip to The Distracted Globe.
There is more behind Art3mis' trip to the Distracted Globe than meets the eye for the film version of RPO. She leads Parzival there to not only find out if the Distracted Globe was possibly the location of the Second Key challenge (she did do the research and it was the likely spot for the time) but to find out what he might know and try to seduce him into joining the Resistance. Why else would she ask if he had on gloves and a visor or if he was sporting a full haptic suit? And even more so, what does she do after Wade tells her about his suit? Now, when it comes to virtual sex in the OASIS, it's probably no big deal for her (or for anyone else for that matter). But it's only when Parzival reveals his real name and professes his love for her does she realize that he actually had feelings for her.

This is why she goes into her "that's what you're in love with" rant during the fight. It's real emotions that she can't handle, which is why she reacts to Parzival after the fight is over by revealing how her father died. She was afraid of actually feeling something for him and didn't want any feelings from Wade. Afterwards, she realized that by her actions by bringing Wade to the Distracted Globe, him letting his name slip, the type of suit he wears and the fact that I-r0k was there (whom she recognized during the fight, as she had an "Oh, shit it's him!" look on her face after she fired at him), she knew she had accidentally set Wade up as a target. That's part of the reason why she had someone tailing Wade just before the attempt on his life, so to bring him in where she knew he'd be at least somewhat safe from IOI.


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