Steven Spielberg Heading Back to Big Sci-Fi with 'Ready Player One'
Last year, we heard that Warner Bros. wanted Christopher Nolan to be at the helm of their adaptation of the acclaimed sci-fi novel Ready Player One. But coincidentally enough, it will be the director who was once supposed to be at the helm of Interstellar behind the camera for the anticipated project. Deadline has learned that none other than iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg is set to direct the film based on the novel of the same name by Ernie Cline that follows a teenager on an elaborate digital treasure hunt in 2044 to win the fortune left behind in the will of the creator of his favorite virtual reality game, Oasis. This is awesome!
In the story, the boy faces unique challenges as there are powerful corporations and other competitors out on the hunt, and they're ruthless in pursuing the ultimate prize. But perhaps the inheritance turns out to be something that only the kid will appreciate. Spielberg hasn't touched big budget sci-fi since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and we can pretty much all agree that it wasn't his best effort. But this is the kind of project that Spielberg fans have been waiting for the filmmaker to take on for years (and it's his first back at Warner Bros. in 14 years), especially since he didn't end up directing Interstellar.
The question is just how are they going to make this movie as immersive and mystifying as the book, not only with the visual effects involved, but all the rights to video game characters that are an integral part of the story? Well, the production reportedly plans to utilize new technology to bring the virtual world of this book to life, and there's a chance this could push the boundaries of special effects like Avatar, The Matrix and others before them. As for the video game characters' rights, Greg Silverman, the studio’s President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production, says:
"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."
So there you have it. This project certainly sounds like it's in good hands. Speaking of which, the script for Ready Player One comes from Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand, The Avengers), who rewrote a previous draft by Eric Eason and Cline himself. Coincidentally enough, Penn and Cline worked together on a documentary called Atari: Game Over, and one of the key parts of the documentary about the fall of the Atari video game system was the massive failure of the video game based on E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, which as we all know is one of Spielberg's most iconic films. Man, I can't wait to see how this turns out.