Spielberg to Direct Video Game-Themed ‘Ready Player One’
After a 14-year absence from Warner Bros, legendary filmmaker Stephen Spielberg is returning to the studio to direct a movie based on Ernest Cline's video game-themed book, Ready Player One.
Deadline reports that Steven Spielberg, the man who took us to Jurassic Park in 1993 and make E.T. a household name in the '80s, has rejoined Warner Bros to make the big screen adaptation of Ready Player One, which is going to be no easy task due to its imaginative premise. Ready Player One tells a futuristic story of human beings escaping from their grim reality by spending most of their waking hours playing OASIS, an online virtual utopia. Most of the population explore OASIS in hopes of finding a secret Easter Egg left in one of its thousands of worlds. The person who finds the Easter Egg will inherit the entire estate of OASIS' creator, James Halliday. Of course, no one ever found it yet. Clues to finding the egg are based on 20th century pop culture, so you should expect some nerdom in there as its main character gets closer and closer. As you would expect, there are many game-related references throughout the story, such as a castle being named after Halliday's favorite D&D character.
Ready Player One's script is being written by Zak Penn, known for his work on The Avengers and X-Men: The Last Stand (ugh), who also worked on Atari: Game Over. The story is loaded with pop culture references featuring 1980s and '90s video game icons. Obviously, there are some snags in development since Warner Bros. obviously doesn't own the rights for rendering these characters in the OASIS world..
Here's what Greg Silverman, Warner Bros' President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production, had to say about Spielberg's return and trying to get the rights of various video game characters for Ready Player One:
I think what we have to do is drill down to the best version of the movie and then see who wants to be a part of what will surely be a great film.
What we found with The Lego Movie is that when we went and talked to those having the rights, people got excited about being involved.
At Warner, we always have our eye on all the groundbreaking visual effects and technology available worldwide, and we feel very confidant with any new ground that Steven would want to tackle. He’s a master filmmaker, so we feel very comfortable with him. The story is the main thing, and whatever works best for audience enjoyment is what we’ll do.
While no launch window has been set, we have a feeling we won't be seeing Ready Player One in theaters until late 2016 at the very earliest due to it still being in the early stages of pre-production.