Los Angeles, Mar 30 (PTI) Veteran filmmaker Steven Spielberg said he wanted to acquire the rights of “Star Wars” franchise for his latest release “Ready Player One” but it did not come to fruition.

The film, penned by Ernest Cline and Zak Penn, has many references from various other iconic movies such as “The Iron Giant”, “King Kong”, “Jurassic Park”, “Child’s Play” and others, but the 71-year-old director had to give up the George Lucas franchise as Warner Bros declined to give the permission.

“Kristie Macosko, who along with Donald De Line and Dan Farah produced the movie, can probably answer that question because Kristie spent three years with the Warner Bros. legal team getting the rights. And we couldn’t get all of them. They wouldn’t give up the ‘Star Wars’ rights,” Spielberg said in a statement.

Set in the year 2045, the film explores a time when humanity is depends on virtual reality software OASIS to engage in work and play to escape the desolation of the real-world.

The movie is based on Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name.

The Oscar-winning director said the book had a universal appeal and even had the material to churn out as many as 12 films.

“I think anybody who read the book and was connected at all with the industry would have loved to make this into a movie. I mean, the book had seven movies in it – maybe 12. It was just a matter of trying to figure out how to tell a story about both of these worlds, and to make it sort of an express train racing toward the third act, and, at the same time, a little bit of a cautionary tale about leaving us the choice: where do we want to exist? Do we want to exist in reality? Or do we want to exist in an escapist universe? “Those themes were so profound for me, and are consistent throughout the whole book. But there are so many places we could have taken the story,” he said.

“Ready Player One” released in India today.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.