Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One Eyeing Ben Mendelsohn For Villain Role



Progress on Steven Spielberg’s other sci-fi adaptation may have temporarily halted, but the director is pressing firmly ahead with his big-screen take on Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.

Having already enlisted Me and Earl and the Dying Girl‘s Olivia Cooke to lead the charge as Ar3mis (AKA Samantha Cook), The Hollywood Reporter today brings word that the Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures production have set their sights on Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) for the role of the lead villain.

THR cautions that negotiations remain in the early stages, though should things fall into place, Mendelsohn would assume the role of a high-ranking executive that has a vested interest in the design of the OASIS – the all-encompassing virtual reality game at the crux of Ready Player One. Set during a time when the game’s founder is on his death bed, a wide-eyed teenager partakes in a colossal treasure hunt to find and locate the fabled easter egg left behind by one James Halliday.

With Spielberg at the helm, Ready Player One will be produced by Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah. Cooke is a lock as a “gunter hunting for the keys that will let the one who solves the riddle to own the OASIS,” while Mendelsohn appears to be teetering on the edge of joining the cast. That leaves the director’s high-profile adaptation still searching for a male lead to embody Wade Owen Watts/Wade3 both in the OASIS and the real world.

Ready Player One will beam moviegoers to a new reality in a way that the Oculus Rift can only dream when Spielberg’s sci-fi flick opens on December 15, 2017.

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