Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Steven Spielberg to direct 'Ready Player One' for Warner Bros.

On the cover of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, the book is described as "Willy Wonka meets The Matrix." That's an enticing concept, and Hollywood studios were quite intrigued as well. Warner Bros. scooped up the rights to the novel a while ago and the film has bounced around the studio ever since. It was recently reported that Christopher Nolan was involved with the project in some way, but that didn't come to fruition. Now, it has been confirmed that one of the most famous science fiction directors of all time will be directing the project that has the power to change blockbuster cinema forever.

In a very lengthy and informative report at Deadline (the entertainment news source that is currently stuck in a racism scandal after a controversial blog post), it is confirmed that legendary director Steven Spielberg will be directing Ready Player One from a script by Zak Penn. Spielberg will direct the film after he finishes work on Bridge of Spies, his highly anticipated Cold War drama with Tom Hanks, and The BFG, an adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl novel due in 2016. Spielberg also has Robopocalypse, It's What I Do and a new Indiana Jones film on tap, but I don't see any of these films being released anytime soon (It's What I Do, a small war drama with Jennifer Lawrence, might be squeezed in between the bigger blockbusters). Spielberg is returning to Warner Bros. for the first time since A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, as he has spent much of the last fifteen years with Dreamworks, his own studio.

The one of the more interesting things about Ready Player One is the plot and the world that the story takes place in. According to Deadline and Rope of Silicon, Ready Player One is set in the year 2044 and tells the tale of a virtual reality creator who offers his entire company to anybody who can find the Easter eggs embedded within his OASIS game. Teenager Wade Watts is up to the challenge and must use a series of 1980's pop culture references to solve the game's puzzle. Deadline goes into great length in discussing the rights issues that could pop up with the multiple pop culture references involved in the production, but that's not really the most interesting part. The true promise of Ready Player One lies with the possibility of some truly groundbreaking visual effects.

Throughout the latter half of its article, Deadline mentions how Ready Player One is mostly set in a strictly digital, virtual reality world. This technology will be tricky to portray convincingly on screen, but they also mention that the science is there for this stuff to really work. Magic Leap is pushing cinematic reality beyond 3D, so Ready Player One could be the first major film to utilize that technology. All of this sounds incredibly exciting and promising and I can't wait to hear more about this film. For now, I'll just remain very enthused that one of my favorite directors is tackling an ambitious and brilliantly unique project. 

Source: Deadline, Rope of Silicon
Image Credits: Nerdist

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