It might not technically be about any existing video game, but Ernest Cline’s love letter to game culture, Ready Player One is officially headed to cinemas in 2017, with Stephen Spielberg at the helm.
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
We’ve known about the film adaptation for a while now, but the Warner Bros, Village Roadshow and DreamWorks title has finally been given a date. You can expect to see Ready Player One in cinemas from December 17, 2017 – unless things change on the way there.
Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros, explains the choice of timing:
Any film from Steven Spielberg is an event film, so it felt right to date this thrilling new project from one of our greatest filmmakers for the holiday season.
The novel was first published in 2011 and tells the story of a virtual reality universe known as the Oasis, which – in a near-future world – people start to value more than real life.
Spielberg’s attachment is particularly pleasing as the film is steeped in the sort of 1980s pop culture the director helped to define, which means Ready Player One could get quite introspective as it heads to the big screen.
No acting talent has been attached at this stage, but Zak Penn is on board as writer, adapting Cline’s novel for the big screen.