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Fans of the book Ready Player One were ecstatic when it was announced that Steven Spielberg would be taking the director’s chair. The film has begun its slow build toward production with several major casting announcements. However, one small, but pivotal, role has been left out until now. Spielberg’s new favorite actor, Mark Rylance is in talks to take the part of OASIS creator James Donovan Halliday.
In the world of Ready Player One, James Halliday is the Bill Gates by way of Howard Hughes creator of a virtual reality video game called the OASIS that eventually consumes the entire internet, as well as the lives of most of the people on the planet. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mark Rylance is currently in talks to take the role. The plot of the book follows several characters as they attempt to solve a puzzle left within the game by Halliday on the occasion of his death. Even though the book opens at the end of the character’s life, James Halliday still plays a key role in the events of the story, as well as, potentially, in flashback sequences that tell the story of the creation of the OASIS.
Mark Rylance seems to have become Steven Spielberg’s new best friend. After his Academy Award-winning turn in Bridge of Spies, Rylance will be heard as the voice of The BFG in Spielberg’s new family film for Disney this summer. In addition, it was also announced all of yesterday that Mark Rylance will appear in Spielberg’s next film The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. That makes four straight collaborations for the pair. Just like that, Mark Rylance is now right up there with Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford as far as major Spielberg partners. He will have done it faster than anybody else, as well.
Mark Rylance joining the cast comes on the heels of reports that Simon Pegg is in talks to play Ogden Morrow, James Halliday’s friend and former business partner. In addition, Tye Sheridan is on board to play the lead role of Wade Watts, Olivia Cooke will play female lead Art3mis, and Ben Mendelsohn will be the film’s villain, Nolan Sorrento. There are three other major roles that are apparently left to be cast. Aech is Wade Watts best friend inside the OASIS, and Daito and Shoto are another pair of in-game treasure hunters that become embroiled in the film’s primary story.
While we know that Steven Spielberg’s own work will be missing from the pop culture-infused story of Ready Player One, the film looks to be doing a great job taking care of the, slightly, more important task of putting together a great cast. Ready Player One is currently scheduled for a March 30, 2018 release.