– In Spielberg's latest film adapted from Ernest Cline's novel, quite a few structural and other changes are made to the book's story:
puzzles and challanges for the easter egg keys are changed, characters are introduced differently their characterizations are different. But of all the things the film omits, the sexuality and backstory of its lead lesbian character is the most glaring. (spoilers ahead, but the picture above shows it as do all the posters for the film ft. Lena)– Lena Waithe plays a character who goes by the alias of "Aech",
best friend of the lead character Wade, described as being "a tall, broad shouldered Caucasian male with dark hair and brown eyes"
in the VR universe The OASIS, featuring a deeper, digitally altered voice. For most of the film we don't see Aech in person, but when Wade has to find his allies in real life late in the book, he learns his best friend is actually a black lesbian.– In the book:
Wade approaches Aech's van expecting to find his friend resembling his online avatar, and to his surprise, she introduces herself as Helen Harris. They sit down and have a conversation about it while Helen explains that she was kicked out of her mother's house when she learned about her sexuality, and that she hid behind her online avatar so she wouldn't face discrimination and could make money from digital tournaments to stay off the streets. Wade says he was surprised, but that they're best friends no matter what (in a very "I don't see color/sexual orientiation" way IMO, but nonetheless). Wade also later refers to Helen’s avatar as “he” through the end of the book because he’s used to doing so.– In the film:
Wade and Helen meet in an alleyway while he's being chased. Helen has to quickly convince Wade she's Aech by sharing things about their friendship only she would know, and then the two of them run off, but never talk about her backstory as the action for the third act ramps up. (not to say the book is a paragon of rep or anything lol)– The film does include a brief moment, but doesn't go far enough:
Halfway through the movie during one of the challenges for the keys, Wade, Aech enter a challenge about the film "The Shining"
and are transported to a digital Overlook Hotel.
Aech (before the reveal has happened, who appears as her avatar) explains she's never seen the film before, and everyone quickly gets separated as the elevators open and blood comes pouring out like from the film. Aech is swept into Room 237, famous for the naked woman that tries to seduce Jack Nicholson's character. The woman is the same here and approaches Aech, who's confused but then almost leans in for a kiss before seeing she's a decaying corpse, like in the film, and then runs away as the woman fails to stab her. This moment doesn't go anywhere or come up again and was not in the book. We've come so far. Lefou WHO?– This omission follows other recent films: Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok
having a scene showing her bisexuality cut (also recently left out from the DVD release), and Black Panther also cutting a scene
featuring Aya (a lesbian in the comics) flirting with Okoye. Both those films produced those scenes but simply left them out, while RPO
seems to have left explicit mention of Helen's sexuality out of the script altogether. It's also a second for Spielberg, who infamously cut back on the central black gay relationship in his adaptation of The Color Purple.– A few critics have noted it's a missed opportunity
both for Helen's character and for the ability to talk about how marginalized people might express themselves in a digital universe, rather then strictly being a straight male fantasy. Just about everyone either didn't notice or care.( Collapse )( Collapse )
ONTD, what would your version of a gay "Ready Player One" look ike?Sources: 1 2 3 4 5