Warner Bros.’ upcoming adaptation of Ready Player One is now slated to hit theaters a day earlier than previously expected. The new movie is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name, which centers on a teenager, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) who attempts to discover an easter egg hidden inside a virtual reality game known as the OASIS. Whoever finds the easter egg inherits ownership of the OASIS as well as its creator’s $500 billion fortune.
Although Cline co-wrote the film’s story and screenplay alongside Zak Penn (The Avengers, X2: X-Men: United), the movie won’t be a direct adaptation of the novel. Instead, Ready Player One will be an original story that remains faithful to the source material (think: comic book movies). The underlying story about Watts hunting for the easter egg in the OASIS, however, will stay the same. Ready Player One is being directed by Steven Spielberg and was originally scheduled to release in mid-December 2017, but it was delayed to March 2018 to avoid direct competition with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And now, its release date is being changed once again, but only a little.
Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has moved Ready Player One‘s release date up one day to Thursday, March 29, 2018. Opening one day earlier at the box office will allow fans of the book as well as families to see the film before crowds descend upon movie theaters over the long Easter weekend.
The last weekend of March typically does well for spring blockbusters, particularly Universal’s Fast and Furious franchise. It’s also the same weekend that Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice released in 2016 and opened to $422.5 million worldwide (the sixth highest of all-time). Warners is looking to capture a similar level of interest with Ready Player One. Also, that’s about the time school kids go on spring break in the U.S., which will help boost the film’s earnings at the domestic box office – but by how much is yet to be determined.
Video game movies typically don’t work on the big screen, but Ready Player One presents an opportunity not only to tell a story about a video game but also have it primarily take place inside said game. While many people may find the idea of a movie being set in a virtual reality world foreign (even in this day and age), the concept was intriguing enough to attract Spielberg back into the world of science fiction, a realm he’s remained decidedly absent from in recent years as he’s focused on real-life/true stories such as Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, and The Post.
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