Steven Spielberg probably has one of the most diverse filmographies ever, bar none. He’s gone from adventure, to action sci-fi, to serious historical drama, and has directed everything in between. According to Deadline (via /Film), he is now attached to helm an adaption of Ernie Cline’s novel Ready Player One.
The Ready Player One novel takes place in the near future, and centers around a teenager who would rather spend his time “jacked in” to a virtual reality called Oasis, rather than deal with actual reality. Oasis’ creator filled this digital world with puzzles and easter eggs based on pop culture from decades past. Here’s a description of the novel:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
Because Ready Player One is based on actual pop culture references, clearing them all will be a huge challenge, but as films like The LEGO Movie and Wreck-It Ralph have proved, it’s not impossible. With Spielberg’s name attached, it may even make clearing them even easier (who would say no to Spielberg?).
Another wonderful benefit is that Spielberg is one of the biggest pop-cultural references of the past few decades which means that he’ll be going back to deal with some of his most popular work of the 80’s. It’s not often that you get to reference yourself in a completely different context.
Ready Player One has been in development for the last five years, with Zak Penn having delivered the latest script. Spielberg will almost certainly want another pass at the screenplay with whatever ideas he has conjured up, but Penn could remain on as the screenwriter, having worked closely with author Ernie Cline in adapting the book.
It’s expected that Ready Player One will be his next project after The BFG which is set to premiere in 2016.