I just watched the movie adaptation of Ready Player One.

However, I don't understand something about the ending:

Is James Halliday really dead?

  • 1
    There is no indication that he is not dead.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 2:30
  • 6
    "I am not an Avatar"
    – TheAsh
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 2:33
  • 1
    I figured the Game created that representation in memory of Halliday.
    – Verdan
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 4:15
  • 6
    How is this not a duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/184820/…? Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 7:17
  • 1
    @GeraldSchneider how was that title a spoiler? The fact that he's dead is revealed right at the start. The title didn't hint at the possibility of him not being dead after all.
    – SQB
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


We don't know — yet

Ernest Cline has said in an interview that what exactly Anorak has become, will be an important part of the sequel to Ready Player One.

The movie makes it clear that the version of Halliday Wade Watts interacts with in his childhood bedroom isn’t alive. But also states that the figure isn’t an avatar. So what is going on? We asked Ernest Cline — writer of the book and co-writer of the screenplay — to explain all.


Ernest Cline: “It’s a mystery, and I’m so happy about that because I talked to [director] Steven [Spielberg] about my potential plans for a sequel novel, which hopefully might serve as the basis for a sequel film, and that mystery of what is Anorak now that Halliday is dead.

“There are clearly NPCs in the OASIS — non-playable characters that are controlled by the system — but Anorak stands alone and he has autonomy, so it remains a mystery. Some sort of ‘ghost in the machine’ was always my idea.”


Cline: “That idea is expanded on in the sequel I’m writing. So it’s still kind of a secret. I made sure to finish a very rough draft before I saw the finished movie because I wanted to have the whole story in my head and didn’t want the movie to influence it.

Ernest Cline in an interview with Fandom Wikia

  • This was my exact thought after the exchange between Wade and Anarak at the end of the film...
    – Odin1806
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 1:24

You've touched upon one of the most intriguing sub-elements of the film, here.

James Halliday physically died, yes. But, the film almost hints that he's somehow become a genuine, artificial intelligence program of himself. Maybe he found a way to insert his consciousness into the Oasis?

The film leaves it hanging.

  • 2
    It could be that he is an uploaded intelligence who chose not to answer the question or it could be the Original simply didn't encode a response to that question. Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 22:22
  • @Aaron Gullison That is possible, mate. But, the look he had on his face when he didn't answer Wade's question implies something deeper, I think. Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 1:50

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