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Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg star in 'Ready Player One'. (Photo: Empire)

We’ve finally got sight of Simon Pegg in the movie of best-selling sci-fi novel Ready Player One, thanks to set photos released exclusively through Empire on Monday (February 19).

The Mission: Impossible star plays inventor Ogden “Og” Morrow, who works with the maverick James Halliday (Mark Rylance) to create the OASIS, a virtual reality game where people in the year 2045 disappear to escape the hardships of the real world. Many have compared the character to Steve Wozniak, the engineer who co-founded technology company Apple with Steve Jobs.

Og was strangely absent from the film’s trailer released in December, but in a newly released photo, he can be seen discussing something with his co-creator Halliday:

(Photo: Empire)
(Photo: Empire)

Given the fact Halliday is dead at the start of the story (and sporting a silver hairdo in the trailer), plus their decidedly dodgy sartorial choices, this scene must be a flashback to when the two men first created the game.

The Billy Idol single propped up on the desk also points to the story’s obsession with the 1980s. The original 2011 novel by Ernest Cline is full of ’80s references as players battle it out to find clues in Halliday’s online Easter Egg hunt. That’s right: the Iron Giant, Freddy Krueger, and the Back to the Future Delorean all rub shoulders in the OASIS.

That, combined with an awesome ’80s rock soundtrack featuring Van Halen, Depeche Mode and Rush, means there was only ever one director who could do the movie justice: the king of 1980s films, Steven Spielberg.

Empire has more photos from the film, including Spielberg on set directing Ben Mendelsohn as Nolan Sorrento, the vicious, power-grabbing corporate villain who wants to take control of the OASIS.

Ready Player One opens in theaters on March 30.

Are you ready?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.