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When books are adapted into movies, it's inevitable that aspects from the original source material will be changed for the big screen. Ready Player One is no exception. For instance, T.J. Miller revealed earlier this month that his character i-r0K, a minor player (pun slightly intended) in the book, has been changed to being an important bounty hunter. Now Ben Mendelsohn, who is playing the main antagonist, Nolan Sorrento, is saying that his version of the character will barely match up to how he's presented in the Ready Player One book. Mendelsohn explained:
I'm not trying to be faithful to the book Sorrento at all. So, anyone that's coming at it wanting a faithful re-creation or transposing of the written Sorrento is not gonna get it. I would rarely do that because my feeling about written literature characters is you don't get to better them. My basic preference is to just try and wipe that slate, and to try and do it in context of what is going on around the film. I treat them as very different entities in that way.
Rather than adapt Sorrento close to what he is in Ernest Cline's 2011 novel, Ben Mendelsohn revealed that the Ready Player One movie will see him playing what sounds like a radical different version of the character. He'll still be a sinister mastermind, but Mendelsohn had a lot more freedom to put his own spin on Sorrento. We won't know exactly what changes Mendelsohn made until the final product is released (though the previews may do a good job with teasing the differences), but the Bloodline and Rogue One actor elaborated to The Wrap about this approach, saying:
I sort of see that stuff as playing a song live. And part of the joy of playing a song live is re-interpreting it, or switching it up, or giving it a newness or an alternative. Because I think the books are their own kind of perfection, and I don't try to fall short of them.
Set several decades in the future on a declining Earth, Ready Player One follows most of humanity turning to the virtual world OASIS for rest from their everyday problems. When OASIS's creator, James Halliday, dies and leaves a will that bequeaths his fortune to whoever finds his special Easter Egg within OASIS, all of its players immediately go on the hunt, including main protagonist Wade Watts. However, he'll have to contend with Nolan Sorrento, who in the book is the head of Innovative Online Industries, and he'll do whatever it takes to seize control of the OASIS for monetization, even resorting to murder. We'll have to wait and see just how much of Mendelsohn's iteration has been altered, but hopefully his goals still closely line up to what was depicted on the printed page.
Ready Player One will be released in theaters on March 30, 2018.