Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct the adaptation Ready Player One for Warner Bros. Back in December, we reported that Warner Bros. was courting a number of high-profile directors, such as Christopher Nolan, Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Edgar Wright and Matthew Vaughn to take on this adaptation of Ernest Cline's novel of the same name, but Steven Spielberg wasn't mentioned in that report. Deadline reports that this project will likely be the director's next movie, after he finishes his Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG, which is slated for release next July.
Ready Player One centers on a teenager named Wade Watts, 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. This project will be the filmmaker's first at Warner Bros. since 2001's A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. He also directed 1985's The Color Purple for Warner Bros. and produced Gremlins and The Goonies for the studio as well. Here's what studio president Greg Silverman had to say about Steven Spielberg coming back to Warner Bros. in a statement.
"We are thrilled to welcome Steven back to Warner Bros. We had an historic series of collaborations in the 1980s and 1990s and have wanted to bring him back for years."
Deadline also mentions the challenge of making audiences feel like they were actually inside this virtual reality world, like in the book. While that kind of technology is just starting to become available, if they decide to implement it in Ready Player One, it could be the next big leap forward in the cinematic experience. When asked about the technology that may be employed in Ready Player One, Greg Silverman had this to say.
"At Warner's, we always have our eye on all the groundbreaking visual effects and technology available worldwide, and we feel very confidant with any new ground that Steven would want to tackle. He's a master filmmaker so we feel very comfortable with him. The story is the main thing and whatever works best for audience enjoyment is what we'll do."
We reported back in November that there were licensing issues which were holding up the movie, since the novel features several pop culture references from the 1980s, including the Delorean time machine from Back to The Future. However, Greg Silverman has experience with these sorts of issues while making The Lego Movie. Here's what he had to say below.
"I think what we have to do is drill down to the best version of the movie and then see who wants to be a part of what will surely be a great film. What we found with The Lego Movie is that when we went and talked to those having the rights, people got excited about being involved."
Donald De Line and Dan Farah, who acquired the rights to the book back in 2010, a year before it was published, are producing alongside Kristie Macosko Krieger. Zak Penn wrote the most recent version of the screenplay, working from an earlier script by author Ernest Cline and Dan Eason. What do you think about Steven Spielberg directing Ready Player One? Let us know what you think below.