Steven Spielberg Trained with James Cameron for ‘Ready Player One’

Kim Taylor-Foster
Movies Comic-Con
Movies Comic-Con

James Cameron is a pioneer when it comes to developing and using new technology to make groundbreaking films. A fact that isn’t lost on Steven Spielberg. And it doesn’t matter that Spielberg is widely regarded as the most powerful filmmaker in the world, he had the nous and humility to tap up Cameron to train him in his advanced techniques on the set of Avatar. Knowledge that he’s put to good use in his latest project, Ready Player One.

At the San Diego Comic-Con Ready Player One press conference, screenwriter Zak Penn revealed Spielberg’s secret.

“Steven will correct me if I’m wrong,” Penn said. “But I believe he went and trained with James Cameron while he was doing Avatar to learn how to use [the motion capture technology]. The idea that Steven Spielberg is going out saying I’d better go learn something new from a different filmmaker is pretty amazing. That’s why he’s better than all of us.”

The first trailer for Ready Player One debuted at the San Diego convention, and the film looks set to be a remarkable, effects-driven, visual feast.

Here’s the synopsis:

In a virtual world called Oasis, a teenager finds himself competing in a treasure hunt against ruthless foes after the game’s founder dies and offers his fortune as the grand prize.

Efficient, energetic, influential and masterful

Ready Player One
The Iron Giant features in Ready Player One

The rest of the panel was equally complimentary about the hugely influential director/producer – here’s a round-up of some of the other quotes from Zak Penn and the cast about legend-in-his-own-lifetime Spielberg at the SDCC event.

Tye Sheridan, who plays Wade Owen Watts in Ready Player One, said, “His energy levels are incredible – up on his feet for twelve hours a day, and he’s not the youngest guy. He’s like a kid and he’s still passionate about what he’s doing. When you see that, for someone who’s been so successful in his career, it’s really inspiring.”

TJ Miller, who plays a character named i-ROk, said, “He doesn’t ask if you want to be in a movie. If he decides you’re going to be in a movie, you’re in that movie.”

Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the film’s antagonist Nolan Sorrento, said, “I got called up to see the boss. I got very excited and nervous. I found it hard to look him in the eye, and then we warmed up and he said: ‘Be evil for me.’ And there I was. ‘But be an evil that we can understand, Ben. Be a corporate evil. Be a necessary evil. Be an evil of consumption and you’ll have TJ Miller by your side.’ And thus it was born.”

While Zak Penn added: “He doesn’t do a lot of takes. By the way, this movie shot [for] 67 days and I can tell you, I’ve worked on a lot of Marvel movies, a lot of movies are 100+ days. Needless to say, movies that were shooting next to us. It’s astonishing. When you see this movie, the thought that anyone could do this in 67 days. I mean, I don’t know how many days it took James Cameron. I think it took him seven years or something. The guy is an incredibly efficient filmmaker.”

And extremely well connected: “Steven can call the Queen of England. Every day. The President calls him. Anyone calls him. There’s no one he doesn’t have access to. So unless there’s a lawsuit he can pretty much get it. Also, he’s produced half the movies that have been made.”

So there you have it. It’s official. Steven Spielberg is as amazing as you think he is.

Ready Player One will hit screens on March 30, 2018.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.