Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg has a new movie coming out in 2015 (his first since the Oscar-winning Lincoln was released in 2012), in the shape of the true story-inspired Cold War drama/thriller, Bridge of Spies. The director is currently working on The BFG (a film adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl novel) for a Summer 2016 release, but has already settled on his next directorial effort after that.
The latter project is Ready Player One, a big screen take on the best-selling Ernest Cline sci-fi novel (published in 2011) that Warner Bros. always intended to have directed by an A-grade cinematic storyteller. It would appear that the 68-year old Spielberg has no intention of resting long between films either, as he's now officially aiming to have Ready Player One... well, ready for theaters a year after The BFG arrives.
For those unfamiliar, here is the synopsis for Cline's Ready Player One novel:
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.
Warner Bros., which hasn't worked alongside Spielberg on a film since A.I. Artificial Intelligence was released in 2001, has set Ready Player One to open in theaters on December 15th, 2017; it is currently the only film scheduled to open in theaters on that day. The WB president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman issued the following official statement, concerning the release date announcement:
"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.”
Ready Player One, as indicated by the book synopsis, blends elements of virtual reality adventures (like TRON) with contemporary dystopian tropes and nostalgic pop culture references; the end result is a story that has something to offer a fairly wide range of people (with regard to age, that is). Spielberg will almost certainly retain the youthful fun vibe of the source material with his film adaptation, as the project ought to bring the director back to his days of making crowd-pleasing blockbusters (a departure from his more recent, somber, historical drama efforts).
It's not clear yet if the initial Ready Player One script draft penned by Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk) will undergo revisions by another writer, now that Spielberg is onboard as director. Nonetheless, even Spielberg's more action-packed/effects-heavy have combined brains with their spectacle, be it the dark sci-fi mystery/thriller Minority Report or the more jubilant globe-trotting ride that is The Adventures of Tintin. Expect Ready Player One's script to aim for the same classic Spielberg mix of heart, intelligence, and pure entertainment value.
Ready Player One opens in U.S. theaters on December 15th, 2017.
Source: Warner Bros.