Director Steven Spielberg has found the female lead for his next project, the sci-fi adaptation Ready Player One, with Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) in talks for the role. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Steven Spielberg had wanted to find both the male and female leads at the same time, but that didn't happen. Olivia Cooke beat out other notable actresses such as Elle Fanning and Lola Kirke for the coveted role.
The plot is based on Ernest Cline's novel of the same name, which centers on a wildly-popular virtual reality gaming world known as Oasis. The story follows outcast teenager Wade Watts, who escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to Oasis, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives. After the game's eccentric founder dies, a contest is set up, with the winner to take over the entire company.
Along with gamers from around the world, Wade joins the adventure, and quickly finds himself pitted against powerful corporate foes and other ruthless competitors who will do anything, in the oasis or the real world, to reach the treasure first. Olivia Cooke will play Sam, a Canadian blogger who is known in the Oasis world as Art3mis, and will become a love interest for the lead character. It isn't known who the studio is seeking to play Wade Watts at this time, but Steven Spielberg has reportedly been testing actors in both New York and Los Angeles.
Steven Spielberg is directing from an adapted screenplay by Zak Penn, with the director also producing alongside Donald De Line, Dan Farah and Kristie Macosko Krieger. It isn't known when production may begin, but Warner Bros. recently handed out a December 15, 2017 release date for Ready Player One. As of now, the project is the sole occupant of that release date, but that will surely change over the next few years.
Olivia Cooke has been an actress on the rise over the past few years. After starring as Emma Decody on A&E's Bates Motel, she made her feature film debut in last year's The Quiet Ones, following that up with The Signal, and Ouija last year. She currently stars in the indie hit Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. What do you think about Olivia Cooke signing on to play Sam/Art3mis in Ready Player One?