The upcoming big-screen adaptation of Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel Ready Player One is already a hot project by virtue of the buzz surrounding the book and Steven Spielberg’s involvement as director, and now the film has found its leading man.
X-Men: Apocalypse actor Tye Sheridan has landed the lead role in the upcoming film, playing protagonist Wade Watts, a teenager on the hunt for a vast, real-world fortune hidden in a virtual utopia. Sheridan will join Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Bates Motel actress Olivia Cooke and The Dark Knight Rises and Bloodline actor Ben Mendelsohn in the cast of the 2018 film.
Originally published in 2011, Cline’s Ready Player One is set in the year 2044, at a time when most people have abandoned the stark conditions of the real world for a virtual utopia called “OASIS.” When the creator of OASIS dies, he leaves his fortune to the winner of a massive treasure hunt in the virtual world, with clues steeped in years of pop-culture lore and esoterica. Wade Watts finds himself in the spotlight when he completes the first step of the treasure hunt, only to get caught up in a vicious competition for the prize that pits him against fellow treasure-hunters and a sinister corporation with its own plans for OASIS.
Deadline reports that along with Sheridan as Watts, Cooke was recently cast as as Art3mis, a fellow treasure hunter, and Mendelsohn will play the film’s primary antagonist, a high-ranking corporate executive named Nolan Sorrento.
Sheridan made his big-screen debut in Terrence Malick’s 2011 film The Tree of Life, and was later nominated for a Critics Choice Award for his performance in the 2014 drama Mud. Most recently, Sheridan starred in the horror comedy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. The 20-year-old actor will also portray Scott Summers, the mutant known as Cyclops, in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.
Ready Player One is scheduled to hit theaters March 30, 2018.