Ernest Cline‘s debut novel, Ready Player One, was published in 2011. The book was an instant hit, striking a major chord with children of the ’80s due to its copious nostalgic pop culture references. The film rights to the novel were actually acquired by Warner Bros. on the very day that Cline finalized his publishing deal with Random House. It lay dormant for a while, but in March 2015 Steven Spielberg signed on to direct. Since then we’ve gotten an announcement here and there. And now the film is going into production — it’s set to shoot in London this Summer.
Here’s what you can expect from Ready Player One…
The Return of the Spielberg Blockbuster
Steven Spielberg’s last film that can be considered a commercial blockbuster is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. Since then he’s focused mostly on dramas like Lincoln (2013) and Bridge of Spies (2015). With the scale of this film and a effects-heavy post-production, we can expect the return of the classic Spielberg blockbuster.
Expert-Level Cast and Crew
The films two leads have been cast with Olivia Cooke playing Art3mis, and Tye Sheridan signed on as Wade Owen Watts. Other known cast members are: Ben Mendelsohn as Nolan Sorrento, Simon Pegg as Ogden Morrow, and Mark Rylance as James Donovan Halliday. With Spielberg’s talent behind the camera, and Eric Eason and Zak Penn, who assisted Cline with screenplay rewrites, the cast and crew are shaping up to be a really great team.
A Box Office High Score
In January 2016, Disney announced the release date of Star Wars: Episode VIII would shift from May 2016 to December 15, 2017, which was the same release date of Ready Player One. A month later, Spielberg announced the film would move to March 30, 2018, to avoid competing with Star Wars. This was, obviously, a smart move. Not only does the film not go up against Star Wars, Spielberg will have more time to finish it.
A Faithful Adaptation
You can’t make Ready Player One into a movie without including all of the amazing pop culture references — many of them are key to the story. The fact is, however, that those references include intellectual property owned by other entities. In order for the film to be a faithful adaptation, Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg are going to have to use their significant industry muscle to work that out. In the end, we might not see every single element from the book make it into the film, but it’s safe to assume that fans of the novel will be happy.
With the film starting shooting soon, expect to know more about Ready Player One as production ramps up.