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Steven Spielberg to Direct ‘Ready Player One’ for Warner Bros.

Spielberg returns to Warner Bros. to direct an adaptation of ‘Reader Player One,’ the bestselling sci-fi novel that takes place in a virtual world.

Warner Bros. has set Steven Spielberg to direct Ready Player One, the highly-anticipated project based on the sci-fi book by Ernest Cline that takes place in a virtual world, Deadline reports. Village Roadshow is also producing the film, which is expected to be Spielberg’s next movie after The BFG.

The deal marks the director’s return to Warner Bros. following a 14-year absence. Spielberg’s last film for WB was A.I. Artificial Intelligence in 2001. Before that, it was Empire of the Sun (1987) and the 1985 critically acclaimed feature The Color Purple.

“We are thrilled to welcome Steven back to Warner Bros.,” Greg Silverman, the studio’s President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production, reportedly said. “We had an historic series of collaborations in the 1980s and 1990s and have wanted to bring him back for years.”

The book takes place in 2044, and follows the story of a virtual-reality game creator who offers up his entire company to the best player who can find an Easter egg in one of his many virtual worlds via a game called OASIS. A teenager named Wade Watts decides to take it on after millions have failed over many years. The key to winning the game is a plethora of pop culture clues from the 1980s. Whomever figures it out and wins the game -- without having their avatars killed in the process -- takes over the entire OASIS empire.

Ready Player One, published by Random House Crown in 2011, was acquired by Warner Bros. in 2010. Producers Donald De Line and Dan Farah brought the project into the studio in a deal led by Silverman (then head of production at WB) that reportedly reached six figures. Published in 40 countries, the New York Times bestselling book has become a worldwide phenomenon. The latest version of the screenplay has been scripted by X-Men: The Last Stand and The Avengers writer Zak Penn.

Head over to Deadline to read the full story.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.