Steven Spielberg talks 'Ready Player One': 'People wants to escape'

Steven Spielberg's “Ready Player One” got a lot of flak when the first trailer for the book-turned-film dropped. But the film has since bounced back with a positive 82 percent score on review aggregator site Spielberg told Fox News that moviegoers are looking to escape these days and that’s what his upcoming film has to offer.

“I think people wants to escape,” he told us at a Los Angeles press junket ahead of the film’s premiere. “People want to escape in the movies. People want to escape into their devices, and I think we've been looking and craving escape ever since the invention of television and television became a profound part of our culture in the early 1950s.”

“Ready Player One” explores a world where virtual reality has taken the place of in-person interactions, but Spielberg told us you don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate the concept of the film. The movie is accessible to the tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy alike, he said.

“If you have never played a video game in your entire life, you'll understand everything and you'll be able to be taken from the starting line to the finish line in ‘Ready Player One,’” he said. “You don't need to be a gamer and that was very important to me… to make this film for people who don't play video games.”

The legendary filmmaker says he got to live in the imaginations of author Ernest Cline and co-screenwriter Zak Penn in this dystopian, futuristic world full of '80s references and virtual reality possibilities for three years.

He added in an interview with The Associated Press: "This was a film that for me fulfilled all of my fantasies of the places I go in my imagination when I get out of town.”

The movie focuses heavily on ‘80s nostalgia, and that’s not a bad thing, Spielberg told the Associated Press.

“I think we're actually very current focused. I wish there was more focus on the past. Social media has ... triggered a sort of critical mass of contemporary, almost, panic to be included in the conversation globally. ... Today's social media is actually causing a lot of young people to dwell on the immediate social rewards of being liked or disliked and that's scary for me. And it also stops people from reminiscing and looking back on a quieter era. So I'm not worried at all about anybody getting stuck in nostalgia because nostalgia is what we're not getting enough of right now in my opinion.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.