Ready Player One is the forthcoming feature film adaptation of the novel by the same name to be directed by Steven Spielberg. The novel by Ernie Cline (Fanboys) largely concerns itself with a fictional MMORPG called the OASIS that exists in 2045. Cline’s book (and presumably Spielberg’s film) depicts a mid-21st century where people exist largely online and in a gaming universe of their own making – which is not a far cry from such real-world counterparts in our own early 2000s world where games like World of Warcraft and social media hubs reign supreme over much of our private lives.

While the film already has a confirmed December 2017 release date, little else is known regarding the cast and crew outside of Spielberg’s involvement, though the latest news regarding the casting process has it that the film may be homing in on its first lead actor.

According to The Wrap, Elle Fanning, Olivia Cooke, and Lola Kirke are all on the shortlist for the role of Art3mis, the in-game avatar of Samantha Cook (the chief love interest to the production’s protagonist, Wade Watts). Keeping in mind that it’s still early and that the film’s casting director is also looking at at least two other unnamed actresses for the part, in an effort to narrow the field for Spielberg (whose busy schedule also includes finishing and promoting both Bridge of Spies and The BFG), no definitive statements with regard to casting are currently forthcoming from Warner Bros.

For now, it can be definitively stated that Spielberg is directing and producing Ready Player One alongside Donald De Line, Dan Farah, and Kristie Macosko Krieger, with Bruce Berman as executive producer and Zak Penn writing the adapted screenplay (with Village Roadshow and Dreamworks also attached).

Lola Kirk Olivia Cooke and Elle Fanning Ready Player One Art3mis Casting Shortlist

Lola Kirk, Olivia Cooke, and Elle Fanning

With her prior work in the Spielberg produced Super 8, the youngest Fanning would be a familiar choice for the new film’s director, who once cast her older sister in his adaptation of War of the Worlds. Cooke has cut her teeth working on the TV drama Bates Motel and in this summer’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (which won her widespread critical acclaim as a young cancer patient), making her a significant blockbuster hopeful. Cooke is popular amongst casting directors, apparently, as she is also reportedly on the shortlist for Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: VIII. Lastly, Kirke wowed audiences in a small role last year in the Oscar-nominated Gone Girl before cementing her status as a leading lady worthy of Spielberg’s consideration opposite Greta Gerwig in the Noah Baumbach-directed Mistress America.   

Whoever is finally cast as Art3mis, fans of Cline’s novel are likely still clamoring for news regarding who will portray Wade Watts and his OASIS avatar Parzival, though knowing the real world alias of Cook is no small consolation prize for now. Fanning, Cooke, and Kirke are all deserving of the lead role in the new film, leaving would-be OASIS users hopeful as more information becomes available regarding the production of the property.

Ready Player One will see theatrical release in the U.S. on December 15th, 2017.

Source: The Wrap

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