When Steven Spielberg does science-fiction, the results aren’t always great, especially when he veers too far from the source material (“War Of The Worlds”). Let’s hope with his latest sojourn into the genre, he’ll play by the book. Literally. Today, Warner Brothers Pictures and Village Roadshow announced that Spielberg will be directing and producing a big screen adaptation of the New York Times bestseller “Ready Player One” by Ernie Cline. Zak Penn (“X-Men 2”) is also on board to adapt the screenplay.

Cline’s novel has been published in 40 countries and is officially described like this: “In the near future, outcast teenager Wade Watts escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to the OASIS, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives. When the eccentric billionaire who created the OASIS dies, he offers up his vast fortune as the prize in an elaborate treasure hunt. Along with gamers from around the world, Wade joins the adventure, and quickly finds himself pitted against powerful corporate foes and other ruthless competitors who will do anything, in the oasis or the real world, to reach the treasure first.”

Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production at Warner Bros, commented: “We are thrilled to welcome Steven back to Warner Bros. We had an historic series of collaborations in the 80s and 90s and have wanted to bring him back for years. As for Ready Player One, we have always felt that Steven was the dream director for this project.”

As long as we get the Spielberg who’s on his A-Game, which sadly hasn’t been the case of late. “Lincoln” was solid if a little unremarkable apart from Daniel Day-Lewis’ Oscar-winning performance, and “War Horse” was just so-so. Hopefully, working in sci-fi again with a catchy premise like this will reignite his creative fire.


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