The movie adaptation for Ernest Cline‘s novel Ready Player One has been in the works since before the book had even been released. Warner Bros bought the film rights on the same day as the published deal with Random House was finalised. Published in 2011, it has drawn a lot of attention to itself. Between Wil Wheaton’s narration of the audiobook and Steven Spielberg signing on as director in March 2015, the news surrounding the movie keeps getting bigger and better.
Cline himself wrote the screenplay, with Sundance acclaimed Eric Eason and co-writer of The Avengers Zak Penn assisting with rewrites. Given that Wheaton even had a cameo in the book as Vice President of OASIS, it certainly seems as if the adaptation is going to hold pretty closely to the original, with the support of everyone working on the project.
Until now, a lot of the news that has spiralled around it has remained unconfirmed from official sources, though a lot of very cool people are said to be involved already. Olivia Cooke, Nick Robinson, Ben Mendolsohn and Simon Pegg are all reportedly being considered for various parts, along with Tye Sheridan in the leading role.
Now, the movie has cast the character whose death instigates the whole adventure. James Donovan Halliday is the creator of virtual universe OASIS, in which he has left clues for one lucky player to follow and ultimately inherit his fortune and, with it, more power than they could ever imagine. The character is said to be the kind of millionaire reminiscent of men like Howard Hughes and Steve Jobs.
Final negotiations for the role are said to be in progress, as of April 13th, with BAFTA, Olivier and Academy Award winner Mark Rylance, who has most commonly performed in Shakespearian roles. He has worked previously with Spielberg in Bridge of Spies, in 2015, and is due to work with him again on the upcoming remake of The B.F.G., which is also in production this year.