Ernest Cline’s dystopian sci-fi novel Ready Player One is officially coming to the silver screen with Steven Spielberg at its helm as director. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow and DreamWorks’ will co-release the film, which follows the story of Wade Watts competing in a treasure hunt within virtual reality world The Oasis to win a billion dollar prize. It’s slated to premiere on December 15, 2017.
“Any film from Steven Spielberg is an event film, so it felt right to date this thrilling new project from one of our greatest filmmakers for the holiday season,” said Warner Bros. domestic distribution head Dan Fellman in a statement.
Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand) will write the script for the three-time Oscar winner. Spielberg will produce Ready Player One with Donald De Line (De Line Pictures), Dan Farah, and Spielberg’s longtime colleague Kristie Macosko Krieger. Bruce Berman will executive produce.
Spielberg will begin directing the film after finishing his role as producer on an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. Ready Player One will be the celebrated director’s first film for Warner Bros. since 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Other highlights on the docket for the ever-busy filmmaker and his production team are Bridge of Spies (producer), a Cold War thriller based on the 1960 U-2 incident starring Tom Hanks coming later this year; Public Morals (exec producer), a police television series set in 1960s NYC debuting on August 25; and Transformers 5 (exec producer), coming in 2017.
Understandably, Warner has high hopes for Ready Player One. “From the success of the book, Ready Player One already has a devoted following, and we’re excited for its fans and moviegoers everywhere to see this fantastically innovative story come to life,” said Warner Bros. exec Sue Kroll in a statement. “We know it couldn’t be in better hands, and look forward to working with Steven and the producers to bring it to the big screen.”