Ready Player One: The Biggest Changes From The Book To The Movie
Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is not exactly what you'd call a faithful adaptation. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does have fans curious: What's different, and what's the same, compared with the original book?
The answer is that a lot is different in the movie. But keep in mind that Ernest Cline, the book's author, helped out on the movie by co-writing with screenwriter Zak Penn. So you might even consider the movie as faithful as possible in that regard.
Ready Player One's book changes range from simple story tweaks to entire arcs and subplots being removed, even if fundamentally this is the same story. Click through to find out about the biggest ones.
When you're done here, don't forget to read our Ready Player One review, check out all the Ready Player One Easter eggs and references we could remember, find out why it's a great movie, check out our analysis of the ending, and read our interviews with the cast and the creators.
Wade's origin (book)
Wade (Parvizal) is from a post apocalyptic ghetto in Oklahoma City and only leaves for Columbus once his stack has been decimated. He actually assumes an alternate identity, Bryce Lynch, and stays hiding in Columbus for months before IOI find him.
Wade's origin (movie)
He’s from Columbus where, IOI headquarters is.
I-r0k is a peer of Parvizal and Aech’s who they often call a “poser.” After Wade and Aech find the first key he tries to bribe them for the answer and tries to reveal their identities to IOI in a forum post that tips off Sorrento.
I-r0k is a random mercenary hired by Sorrento.
Wade's school (book)
Wade goes to school in the OASIS, as do many students, because the outside world, especially in the stacks, is too unsafe.
Wade's school (movie)
He’s never shown going to school and this fact of life is removed. Actually, the first 8 chapters are basically skipped.
Innovative Online Industries (IOI) is the world's largest Internet service provider.
Innovative Online Industries is a virtual reality equipment manufacturing corporation (among other things).
Wade's transformation (book)
During Wade’s hideout spell he adopts a new lifestyle of eating better and exercising which leads him to a total physical transformation where he even completely shaves his head and body.
Wade's transformation (movie)
Wade’s appearance never changes.
Rift with Aech (book)
Aech stops talking to Parvizal because she feels ditched since Parvizal’s infatuation with Art3mis began.
Rift with Aech (movie)
Aech never cuts out Parzival, and that insufferable lonely patch in the book never happens.
Daito's death (book)
Daito is killed (fairly early on in the plot) by the Sixers trying to get the Jade Key. I'm still trying to forget the moment Shoto tells Parvizal that Daito “did not commit Seppuku.”
Daito's death (movie)
IOI's prisoner (book)
Wade is discovered by IOI in his hideout and taken into debtors prison as they still believe he is Bryce Lynch. It's all a deliberate scheme to protect himself and the High Five.
IOI's prisoner (movie)
Artemis surrenders to IOI when they discover the location of the "rebellion" headquarters and she is placed in a "loyalty center" to work off her (and possibly her father's) debt.
The High Five's identities (book)
Wade discovers the identities of everyone in the High Five by basically cyberstalking them at IOI with passwords he found on the internet. No joke.
The High Five's identities (movie)
Art3mis sends a dude from “the rebellion” to save Wade after his Stack is blown up. Aech, Daito and Shoto save Wade after IOI discovers the rebellion hideout. Then they all go save Art3mis.
The Copper Key (book)
The challenge is based off Tomb of Horrors from Dungeons and Dragons. After evading all types of D&D monsters and traps, the player has to defeat an undead lich king in an arcade game of Joust. Snore.
The Copper Key (movie)
An unbeatable racing game. The answer is found in Halliday’s museum in a random memory where the designer hints that he'd like to "put the pedal to the metal" and go backward. Parzival does this at the start of the race, which reveals a trap door that leads to the finish line.
The Jade Key (book)
Aech tells Parvizal the challenge for the Jade Key is Zork. Parvizal travels to planet Frobozz where there are 512 recreations of the text-adventure game Zork and plays it and beats it. Again snooze. He finds a whistle inside a box of Cap’n Crunch and blows it and voila! (which is French for "and then I found out," lol). A key.
The Jade Key (movie)
In the movie the High Five travel to a recreation of Stanley Kubrick's seminal film The Shining, where they have to dance with some zombies to get the Jade Key.
The Crystal Key (book)
From the clue he is given, Parvizal determines the key must be hidden in the Rush album 2112 in the song "The Temples of Syrinx." In a long string of unnecessarily complicated events, Parvizal finds a 1974 Gibson Les Paul guitar wedged in a rock, sword-in-the-stone style, and walks it to a waterfall for reasons mentioned in the song to place it on an altar. He is then granted the key.
The Crystal Key (movie)
The third challenge in the movie involves an Atari 2600 game system and its entire library of games. Parzival is the only player who realizes that Halliday would have hid his Easter Egg inside the original Easter Egg, in Warren Robinett's game Adventure.
The Gates (book)
In the book they need to find the gates for the keys as well. These involve additional challenges. In one, Parvizal beats Dungeons of Daggorath on a TRS-80 computer in a replica of Halliday’s childhood bedroom in a virtual past Middletown, Ohio.
The Gates (movie)
There are no gate challenges in the movie.
Extra life (book)
Inside Happytime Pizza (Halliday’s childhood hangout,) there are a number of arcade machines. The Pac Man machine has an almost perfect high score. Wade plays a perfect score and the machine gives him a quarter which he keeps as he thinks it might be important.
Extra life (movie)
Parvizal places a bet against the Halliday museum curator that there is only one available source of the name of Halliday’s long lost love. He is proven correct and the curator hands him a quarter which he doesn’t think much of but keeps.