Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One has been stuck in various levels of development hell for many years. This always struck me as strange. Steven Spielberg is one of the most reliable talents ever to work behind a camera, so I’m surprised a studio would say no to him over a film’s budget – although the licensing of so many properties in one movie is undoubtedly an issue.
With this in mind, it appears that Ready Player One is back in pre-production, and that Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises and the upcoming Rogue One) is being considered for a role.
The film is set in the near future and follows teenager Wade Watts, who escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to the OASIS, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives. When the eccentric billionaire who created the OASIS dies, he offers up his vast fortune as the prize in an elaborate treasure hunt. 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.
Ben Mendelsohn has been offered the role of an executive of OASIS and, if cast, would star alongside Olivia Cooke and Samantha Cooke (incidentally, they are not related). Overall, based on the description of the plot and the role, Mendelsohn sounds like perfect casting. Hopefully, Spielberg can finally bring this fascinating project to the screen.