The trailer for 'Ready Player One' dazzles with its VR world

Steven Spielberg, king of 1980s pop culture, promises plenty of references from that decade in his upcoming film.

Now playing: Watch this: 'Ready Player One' trailer shows an escape to danger

Are you ready, player one?

Director Steven Spielberg drew wild applause from the crowd at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday when he appeared with "Ready Player One" author Ernest Cline and the cast of the 2018 movie, set in a virtual-reality game world.

In the story, set in 2044, people hide from the declining Earth in a virtual-reality simulator called the OASIS, where teenager Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) finds himself in a treasure hunt of a game that's peppered with 1980s references. In the trailer shown, Watts leaves his home in The Stacks, a slummy area of RVs and trailer homes piled high on each other, and enters a world of giant scorpions, monster trucks, "Tron"-style racing motorcycles and retro icons including Freddy Krueger and The Iron Giant.

"So many of the iconic moments that happened in the '80s I was involved in," Spielberg told the Comic-Con audience. His cast and fans know this only too well -- star T.J. Miller, late of "Silicon Valley," wore an E.T. shirt and Back to the Future shoes, honoring two of Spielberg's famed films.

Both Spielberg and Cline noted the importance of virtual reality to the book and film. "The world in 'Ready Player One' is so dystopian. VR gives you a choice, another world to exist in," Spielberg said.

When asked how he was able to write about virtual reality so early in its development, Cline said, "When I wrote 'Ready Player One,' I was standing on the shoulders of many giants."

"Ready Player One," the movie, is set for a March 2018 release. 

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