Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow have brought an end to their search for the female lead to topline Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, cherry-picking rising star Olivia Cooke for the coveted part of Art3mis.
According to earlier reports, the Me and Earl and the Dying Girl actress was rubbing shoulders with Lola Kirke and Elle Fanning on the studios’ shortlist of candidates, though today The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that it is indeed Cooke who nabbed the role, with negotiations still to be ironed out. Based on the dystopian best-seller by Ernest Cline, Cooke has joined the cast as Art3mis, a “gunter who is hunting for the keys that will let the one who solves the riddle to own the OASIS, a highly valuable, online virtual reality space.”
OASIS is the primary setting of Ready Player One, a virtual reality in which Wade Owen Watts/Wade3 – the protagonist that is yet to be cast – searches high and wide for James Halliday’s video game easter egg. Much like Wade’s character, Art3mis is merely the name of Cooke’s OASIS alias, with Samantha Evelyn Cook acting as her name in the real world.
Said reality is a dark and dangerous place in Ready Player One‘s universe. Set in the year 2044, the aforementioned virtual utopia acts as a surrogate for the poorly citizens, allowing them to live fantastical lives in an artificial cocoon. As such, the OASIS bears semblance to an MMORPG, where entire communities and hub worlds support player interaction and general online camaraderie.
Licensing issues threatened to derail the project early on in development, though Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is finally beginning to show signs of momentum. The esteemed filmmaker is on board to produce the adaptation, too, alongside Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter