The Warner Bros./Village Roadshow adaptation of Ernie Cline’s sci-fi novel Ready Player One just got a huge boost in credibility and visibility. Legendary director Steven Spielberg has signed on to helm the video-game fueled flick.
Published in 2011, Ready Player One is set in the year 2044 and focuses on teen gamer Wade Watts, who hides away from his disappointing life in a virtual reality utopia known as OASIS, a game world obsessed with pop-culture of days gone by. Watts, along with many other players, is searching for an in-game Easter Egg that would bestow the holder with full ownership and control over OASIS.
One of the major hurdles in faithfully adapting Ready Player One lay in the fact that the novel, fueled as it is by nostalgia for nerdy properties from days gone by, is deeply referential to all kinds of franchises owned by different companies; it can be difficult to get major references to, say, Firefly and Pac-Man in the same film. This hurdle might be lowered significantly with the involvement of Spielberg, who may be able to use his considerable clout in the industry to get some deals made and make sure some of those references can stay intact. Of course, that’s purse speculation – when the movie hits theaters, we may be seeing characters referencing such beloved pop-culture idols as Lightning Bug and Yellow Circle Man.
Ready Player One has been in production since 2010, with the most recent draft of the script written by Zak Penn. Spielberg is expected to focus on the film as soon as he finishes his current project, The BFG, which starts filming later this year. This will be Spielberg’s first collaboration with Warner Brothers since 2001’s A.I. The film currently has no projected release date or prospective stars attached.[via Deadline]