Lena Waithe has already commented on the idea of characters' avatars in the OASIS being projections of who they want to be. Her character is a huge, imposing orc figure that dominates any space he's in. She's a woman of color who likely doesn't feel the same sort of confidence in public spaces. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ready Player One star Tye Sheridan also agreed about the idea of the avatars being projections of the people behind them on some level.
"I think it points a finger at this image we feel we have to live up to or strive to be," Sheridan says. "I think a lot of people, especially a lot of kids right now, are struggling with being themselves and embracing that, embracing who they actually are and coming face-to-face with what that means."
Sheridan knows that people are going to take the idea of self-projection in multiple different ways, but for him the message of the movie is that you don't need to try so hard. There are people out there who will accept you no matter what.
"People will love you for who you are. Although it may take a while, you'll find those friends."
Sheridan's character is looking for connections in the OASIS, but what about the bad guys in Ready Player One? Ben Mendelsohn is Nolan Sorrento, the head of IOI, the company looking to find the keys and take over the OASIS. While many people see the OASIS as an escape, Nolan sees it as an opportunity for profit.
"They want to spend all their time going dink-donk-dink-dink," Mendelsohn says, doing a grown-up's version of videogame sound effects. Sorrento's goal: "Monetize it. And get these young people working!"
They basically want to microtransaction the hell out of the OASIS — and that's why Nolan and IOI are looking for the keys. It's a very blatant message about what people are willing to do with something incredibly powerful, according to director Steven Spielberg.
"It's about idealists versus corporate greed," Spielberg says.
It's about as subtle as a 2×4 to the face, but when we're talking about a movie where the Iron Giant shows up as part of the major action scenes, maybe it is subtle. Everything about the OASIS is so over the top that the themes of the movie seem subtle by comparison.
Summary: When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.
Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg, stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, Mark Rylance, and Ben Mendelsohn. It will be released on March 29th.