Set in a near future where people are more connected to an advanced virtual reality known as the Oasis than to the real world, Ernie Cline's 2011 best-seller has been described as a cross between "The Matrix" and a Willie Wonka story. Expectations will be high for the project, which brings together cutting-edge trends and concerns with one of the most well-regarded filmmakers of all time.
Cline’s tale centres on a teenager, Wade Watts, from the ghettos of 2044 Oklahoma who spends his time enveloped in an online utopia known as OASIS. Watts’ main desire, like millions of others, is to uncover a mysterious “Easter Egg” which the game’s late founder has stipulated will deliver his entire fortune into the virtual mitts of the player who uncovers it.
Spielberg, who helped define the science fiction genre for the blockbuster era with 70s and 80s films such as Close Encounters and ET, is expected to shoot Ready Player One after his forthcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.
The new film also marks Spielberg’s first project at Warner Bros since 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the science fiction tale he inherited from the late Stanley Kubrick.
“We are thrilled to welcome Steven back to Warner Bros,” said studio president Greg Silverman. “We had an historic series of collaborations in the 80s and 90s and have wanted to bring him back for years. As for Ready Player One, we have always felt that Steven was the dream director for this project.”