Steven Spielberg’s newest movie, Ready Player One, is ripe with pop culture easter eggs. From the Back to the Future DeLorean to the Jurassic Park T-Rex, impressive references abound for our enjoyment. One would think getting the rights to these characters would be hard for Steven Spielberg, but then again, we’re talking about one of the most iconic directors ever.
But even with his impressive list of accolades, there was one particular movie (or franchise) Spielberg wasn’t able to include in his latest movie – Star Wars.
During a press conference for Ready Player One, Spielberg was asked which movie he wanted to but wasn’t able to include in his newest project and his answer was none other than the galaxy far, far away.
“We couldn’t get any Star Wars rights,” revealed Spielberg, “[We tried] very hard. They wouldn’t give up the Star Wars rights.”
Spielberg is of course talking about Disney, who bought the rights to Star Wars from creator George Lucas for $4 billion back in 2012. The acclaimed director went on to say Warner Bros. producer Kristie Macosko Krieger attempted to get the licenses to the Star Wars characters for three years but in the end was unable to.
Disney has been notoriously guarded with its marquee franchises ever since it took it off Lucas’ hands. That’s a shame because we have a hard time believing Spielberg wouldn’t have been able to secure the rights from George Lucas if he still possessed them. Spielberg and Lucas are longtime friends who worked together on the Indiana Jones franchise.
Interestingly enough, Star Wars wasn’t the only entity Spielberg failed to include in the movie. The rights to Ultraman were impossible to acquire given the Japanese character is involved in a lawsuit.
It would have been fun to see Star Wars and Ultraman in Ready Player One, but even with those notable omissions, it is still full to the brim with classic characters. You can check them all out when it arrives in cinemas March 29, 2018.