Is the villain in Ready Player One based on Scientology leader David Miscavige?


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/10/is-the-villain-in-ready-player.html


#2

It seems both apt and likely given how much easier it is to copy workable characters from nature than create from whole cloth? httpwww.pajiba.com/film_reviews/is-ben-mendelsohns-ready-player-one-character-a-scientology-easter-egg.php
Nice catch!


#3

I mean, probably. Og was clearly supposed to be Woz.

Halliday was I guess a mix of Richard Garriott and Howard Hughes. (Although I would have guessed a little bit of Nolan Bushnell)


#4

CEOscum comes out of the same sewer. There’s not much difference among them. Sort of like Politicianscum mostly coming from the same breeding grounds. Those that don’t start that way are often eventually submerged in the nutrient slime so that they take on the same identifiable characteristics of their chosen genus of parasite.


#5

I think you’re giving the movie and book too much credit.

I enjoyed both, but neither had even a whiff of subtlety. If Cline wanted to reference Scientology he would have named the CEO of IoI something like, “David Hubbard” or “General Grievous.”


#6

I think Spielberg is keenly aware of Miscavige’s anti-semitism.


#7

I haven’t seen the film but in the book he seemed like a combination of Steve Jobs and Willy Wonka.


#8

I think the movie is far more clever than some people give it credit for, and if they were looking for a good model for a creepy CEO who wants to control and brainwash people, Miscavige is ideal.

He’s not at all spry in the movie; there’s no “Dead Man’s Party”. But his characterization as an awkward, introverted genius who prefers artificial reality to real life makes much more sense onscreen.


#9

Elrond Hugger.


#10

Not short enough.


#11

I suddenly feel lonely here. I took him to be a spinoff of Principal Vernon from The Breakfast Club:

image

But also that his avatar looked like Vince McMahon and his “idea” of Bronze, Silver and Gold levels as EA-speak… so generic villain typecasting.


#12

He reminded me of the Breakfast Club principal, too!


#13

Is this the first time the movie has come up here so far?

I read the book a few weeks ago and count myself among those who despise it furiously. From what I hear, the movie makes numerous changes – and almost any change would be an improvement. (I like the perspective that Halliday, in using his billions to compel the world into sharing his obsessions, is possibly one of the most effective supervillains.)


#14

FWIW from the thumbnail I thought the actor was pictured on the left, they do look very similar here.


#15

I don’t buy it. The character in the book was too nice a guy for him to be modelled on the delightfully Dickensian-named head of the Cult of $cientology.


#16

I have only read the first 1/3, and saw the film with two people who loathed the book because they hated the main character and his motivations. They both very much appreciated how much the movie changed Wade to be an actually likable guy and changed all of the challenges to be actually believable and entertaining to watch.


#17

Is the character in the movie wearing his wedding ring of his vanished wife?


#18

Plus there was the whole Tom Cruise thing, which included this:

Ironically, the incident came at a time when relations between Spielberg and Cruise were poor. Spielberg felt the actor’s antics had hurt his own movie, 2005’s War of the Worlds. Far worse, though, had been an episode when Spielberg told Cruise the name of a doctor who had prescribed medication to a relative and the doctor’s office was subsequently picketed by Scientologists.

I’m not sure that Tom Cruise’s attempts to patch it up really helped.

0629spielberg


#19

#deleteScientology


#20

That’s really good!