Ready Player One is basically every fan's dream: a movie in which the fate of the free world relies on one person's extensive knowledge on gaming and the people who created them. But Ready Player One is also missing one thing that fanboys and fangirls, especially those who love a good comic book action movie (talking about you, Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe fans) have come to expect from their content: an end-credits scene. The Ready Player One post-credits scene doesn't exist, but just because there isn't any tease to cap off the movie doesn't mean there's no hope for a sequel. (Shall we call it Ready Player Two?)
Ready Player One has a pretty tidy ending (no spoilers here), so it makes sense that director Steven Spielberg decided against any kind of post-credits tease. Traditionally, most post-credits scenes are meant to hint at a future conflict, one that might propel the film towards a sequel. But, Ready Player One ends so completely that it doesn't necessarily leave fans wondering what the next step will be. Simply put: there just isn't need for a post-credits scene or funny tag. That said, it's a bit disappointing to see a movie bursting with pop culture, that uses the very idea of Easter Eggs (and by extension post-credits scenes which are, sometimes, just big Easter Eggs) as a crucial plot point doesn't have an end-credits scene.
Granted, it's quite possible that the original cut of the film did have a post-credits scene. However, it's more likely that Spielberg never thought of doing one at all. Looking back at the director's previous work, it's obvious that Spielberg has never really been one for post-credit scenes. His last fantasy blockbuster, The BFG had no such scene, and neither did his most recent franchise film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Though the director has not really commented on the matter, it looks like he's just not a fan of the end-credits scene.
Before fans jump to the conclusion that Spielberg's apparent aversion to post-credits scenes translates to an aversion to sequels, think again. Spielberg has birthed many franchises over the years, including Jaws and Jurassic Park — he's even currently working on a fifth Indiana Jones movie. If history is any indication, he's got nothing against a good sequel, and odds are he'll embrace the idea of a Ready Player One sequel. In fact, he may already have an idea of what that sequel will look like thanks to novelist Ernie Cline.
Ready Player One is based on Cline's novel of the same name, and though Cline has yet to publish a sequel and turn his hit novel into a series, he is writing one. Cline confirmed he was working on writing a Ready Player One sequel in December, and has continued to drop hints about the sequel as the film's release approaches. Cline, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation, said that his sequel is purely a sequel to the book, not the movie, and he's already got at least a rough draft ready to go. "I wanted to make sure I had finished at least a rough draft of the sequel before I saw the movie because I didn't want the movie to influence me too," he said in an interview with CinemaBlend.
It's unclear whether or not a potential Ready Player One sequel would follow Cline's novels. After all, changes to the first movie could derail some of the plots the author chooses to extend into his second book. However, based on what Cline teased about the sequel, that doesn't seem like it would be a problem. "It won't be about a contest, but it will deal with all of the same characters and kind of the situation," he added to CinemaBlend. The movie, like the book, brings an end to the contest that is the main thrust of the Ready Player One action (again: no spoilers), so the potential sequel will need a new way to continue the stories of its heroes, and why not just follow Cline's writings?
Fans will hopefully know about the fate of a Ready Player One sequel pretty quickly. Cline hinted that early box office numbers would play a huge part in the decision, and that a sequel could be announced in a matter of weeks. "If the movie does well, the following week they'll decide whether or not they want to make Ready Player Two," Cline revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Here's hoping they announce news about a Ready Player One sequel ASAP, preferably before fans begin to rebel at the lack of an end-credits kicker.