Steven Spielberg adds Mark Rylance to Ready Player One

Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance

by James White |
Published on
Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance

Anyone else get the idea that Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance quite enjoy working together? After Bridge Of Spies earned one an Oscar and the other plenty of solid reviews, it's not all that surprising, and now Rylance will be part of yet another Spielberg project, joining Ready Player One as James Donovan Halliday.

If you've never read Ernest Cline's book, Ready Player One is set in a world where millions across the planet interact in a virtual space known as Oasis, in which you can be anything you want to be. For Teenager Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), it's a way to escape his tough life, inside Oasis he uses the avatar Parzival. When the original co-creator of Oasis (Rylance's Halliday) dies, the Steve Jobs-like tech guru offers his fortune and control of Oasis to anyone who can complete a fiendishly tough easter egg hunt. Wade naturally starts questing, joined by fellow player Samantha Cook, AKA Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) and threatened by the corporate types looking to ensure they take control. They're represented by the nefarious Nolan Sorrento, played by Ben Mendelsohn. Also aboard? Simon Pegg as Ogden "Og" Morrow, Halliday's former colleague and one of the other brains behind Oasis.

With Spielberg gearing up to start the cameras rolling in June, there is a tricky scheduling issue to be worked out between Ready Player One and Rylance's duties on Christopher Nolan's World War II-set Dunkirk, due to kick off in May, but with Warner Bros. backing both films, the details are being finalised so Rylance can juggle his duties.

And this is simply the latest iteration of Rylance and Spielberg collaborating. In addition to this new casting nugget, the actor is the title character in The BFG, due on July 22, and just a day or so ago was announced as joining the director's RPO follow-up, The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara. See more about that one here.

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