Steven Spielberg Heading Back to Big Sci-Fi with 'Ready Player One'

March 25, 2015
Source: Deadline

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.

Find more posts: Development, Movie News



typo alert, should be 2044, not 20144

Tester on Mar 25, 2015


thought so to, but I didn't know the book...

ari smulders on Mar 25, 2015


The book is quite fun, you should read it.

Lucas Osse on Mar 25, 2015


Fixed, thanks.

Alex Billington on Mar 25, 2015


What the fuck is happeneing to Robopocalypse???

Jon Odishaw on Mar 25, 2015


Delayed... forever....

Alex Billington on Mar 25, 2015


ugh I dont want this movie I want Robopocalypse!

Jon Odishaw on Mar 25, 2015


This IS awesome! Whoa, if it's really true... The one man who could adapt it correctly would be Spielberg. The mind boggles with the possibilities... Think of how he's going to recreate WarGames scenes and arcade games, oh man. I wonder if he should cast Jeff Bridges as Halliday.

Alex Billington on Mar 25, 2015


P u m p e d .

DAVIDPD on Mar 25, 2015


As much as I love Bridges he is NOT right for JDH. Personally, I was hoping for a twist in casting and they might cast Bill Nighe (The SCIENCE GUY) as Halliday for his tall, thin look. Of course, I'm also kinda hoping they figure out how to get Wil Wheaton as Sorrento and maybe try to cast Steve Wozniak as Ogden Morrow. That would REALLY work for me but hey, dreams. 🙂

Wirehedd on Mar 29, 2015


The only announcement that could top this is Christopher Nolan directing Half-Life

SallySpider on Mar 25, 2015


Please please please please make that happen.

MaqueeStalker on Mar 26, 2015


I cant though. I cant even take a shit 😀

SallySpider on Apr 24, 2015



DAVIDPD on Mar 25, 2015


iduno..spielberg has been linked with so many projects over the years that im not convinced until i see a trailer

jonnyb61 on Mar 25, 2015


Why he left Robopocalypse?

Бабак on Mar 26, 2015


Nonplayer please!!

Why? on Mar 26, 2015


Spielberg, along with other big directors of his generation, can no longer turn out good stuff. Tell them to stop. You know what the best part of the new Star Wars is, Lucas is not touching it.

MaqueeStalker on Mar 26, 2015


I keep thinking if only George made the prequels under the same conditions as the OTs and exit the humor and actually make the separatist droids deadly. Also, showing the power of Anakin in actuality. George FAILED.

SubSumeYou on Mar 26, 2015


And now I'm pissed!... I wish he would do "Robopocalypse" instead...

Drived on Mar 26, 2015


As much as I love Spielberg and as much as i love science fiction, I gotta say, I read this book a couple months ago and it kind of sucked. Im hoping Spielberg pumps it full of his incredible visual style and elevates it above the source material, but in my opinion, among the ranks of mundane dystopian young-adult fiction, RPO sits comfortably among the most mediocre. My hope is that they add some sort of flourishes or edge to what i found to be one of the least dangerous, least original, and least inventive science fiction to gain a cult following of the last few years. Sorry for one of my most pretentious comments yet, but I was really excited when I heard the concept of this story and that Nolan and Spielberg were being considered, and was unbelievably disappointed with such flat storytelling.

jay on Mar 26, 2015


Early in his career, Spielberg made some truly astounding films for both cinema AND television; watch "Duel" sometime (with Dennis Weaver) and you'll see what I mean; or even his very first directorial opus directing Joan Crawford (when he was 19!) in an episode of "Night Gallery". Great work. Over the years, he's made a smorgasbord of movies that withstand the test of time, i.e., "Jaws", "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind", "The Color Purple", "Raiders Of The Lost Ark", "Saving Private Ryan", and so on and so forth. In recent years, however, I'm sorry to say his flicks have......well.....sucked. "A.I."? "Minority Report"? When was the last time he had a truly great hit, along the lines of the aforementioned movies? "Hook"? Seriously? Even a short-lived TV series he created lasted only two seasons ("Amazing Stories") because it was garbage. People handily forgave him for "1941"......but enough's enough already. And now everyone's clamouring about his "return to big budget sci-fi". Why? Personally, considering his mediocre work of late, I was totally relieved he wasn't allowed anywhere near "Interstellar' (else it wouldn't have been the masterpiece it turned out to be; kudos to Mr. Nolan). Same goes for George Lucas. Both of these men give every indication of being past their prime. Washed up, so to speak.

Canuck1963 on Mar 26, 2015


I love 1941. I have a lot of love for quirky movies. I love Buckaroo Banzai too.

Christine Silver on Mar 29, 2015


I love quirky, irreverent movies as well. Just not ones that aren't funny or are just plain stupid.

Canuck1963 on Mar 29, 2015


I quote James Donovan Halliday "No one gets what they want and that is beautiful." My sons and I love this book and cannot wait for the film. I was worried if they got Nolan as I don't think his work fits with RPO but the idea of having one of the greatest film makers alive who also happened to helm some of the greatest films of the 80s which happen to be highly prevalent in the story. Who better to bring back those ideas for a massive VR exploration? I am very excited to see this.

Wirehedd on Mar 29, 2015


Reminds me of Half Life.. the most shit game series ever.

SallySpider on Apr 24, 2015

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