With the female lead (Olivia Cooke) and villain (Ben Mendelsohn) already set, Warner Bros. and director Steven Spielberg have finally found their young protagonist for the highly-anticipated Ready Player One. Deadline reports that 19-year-old rising star Tye Sheridan has come aboard to play the lead role of Wade Watts. We reported last month that Ben Mendelsohn was in talks to star, but this new report reveals that he is on board, playing the villainous Nolan Sorrento.
Ready Player One centers on a teenager named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), who becomes obsessed with a virtual reality world known as Oasis, that allows players to live out their fantasies. After the game's creator suddenly dies, an elaborate treasure hunt is held within the Oasis world, with the winner emerging to take control of 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 Wade. Ben Mendelsohn's Nolan Sorrento is the executive of an Internet company who is trying to take control of Oasis. Warner Bros. had originally set a December 15, 2017 release date for this adaptation, but we reported earlier this month that the studio shifted the date to March 30, 2018, after Disney's Star Wars: Episode VIII moved from May 26, 2017 to December 15, 2017.
Steven Spielberg is directing Ready Player One from a screenplay by Zak Penn (Marvel's The Avengers), with the director also producing alongside Donald De Line, Dan Farah and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The project will be the filmmaker's first at Warner Bros. since 2001's A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. It isn't known when production will begin yet, but we'll keep you posted as soon as more details are released.
Tye Sheridan made his feature film debut in 2011's The Tree of Life, which lead to critically-acclaimed roles in indie films such as Mud, Joe, The Forger and Last Days in the Desert. He most recently starred in The Stanford Prison Experiment, Dark Places and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, and he will next be seen in the superhero adventure X-Men: Apocalypse, playing a younger Cyclops. Do you think Tye Sheridan is the right choice to play Wade Watts?