Next month, Steven Spielberg will embark on adapting Ernest Cline's YA best-seller, Ready Player One, for the silver screen. With almost all of the key leads in place, we're far from past the days of casting notices being reported for the major motion picture, and the latest has dropped today. Apparently, Spielberg is a Game of Thrones fan, as Hannah John-Kamen, an actor featured in a bit part this season, has been cast in an unknown role.
The Tracking Board pulled the story, stating that Kamen, who also had a small part in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has signed onto the cast that includes Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, and Ben Mendelsohn. Production on Ready Player One is slated to start next month, per Steven Spielberg himself, so the casting process should be making its end run in the coming weeks. No further detail on Hannah John-Kamen's role have been given, but there's one particular lead still left to be cast, and she just might be the woman for the job.
With the core Gunter team known as "The High Fives" still down two characters in the casting process, there's a chance that Hannah John-Kamen has been cast as teammate Helen Harris. Also known as "Aech," Helen hides her African American identity behind her white male avatar, which is one of the book's minor twists throughout its story. With Kamen's casting being noted at this point, there's a decent chance that this could be her role in the film's narrative. However, there's one detail that may cause a bit of an uproar, and that's Helen's overweight body type.
Helen Harris is described as a "heavy-set, African American girl," in her character description within Ready Player One. Now while this isn't really too big of a deal, Hannah John-Kamen's casting as Helen could spark a bit of controversy with the more socially minded corners of the internet. While some could make a case for the fact that the actor doesn't match the physical description in the book, there is the fact that Kamen's audition may have been so impressive to the folks casting Ready Player One that they felt she was a great fit for the tone of the character.
Of course, this is all rendered useless if Helen / Aech isn't the role up for debate. Without any further information, there's a chance that Hannah John-Kamen could have been cast in a role that is either lower in visibility, or new to the film. In either case, we'll be keeping our ears open for any clues as to which mystery character now has her face to their name.
Ready Player One is slated to start pre-production next month, in order to meet a March 29, 2018 release date. In the meantime, Steven Spielberg has The BFG being released on July 1, with The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara slated to start production in early 2017 for release later that same year.