Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One seems ripe for a sequel. There’s an endless array of pop-culture references that can power a story like the one that we way in the book (and Steven Spielberg movie), so all it should require is a new quest on which Wade Watts, aka Percival, can go on now that he has unlocked the mysteries of the OASIS and solved James Halliday’s series of riddles.
As it turns out, the Austin-based author DOES have a follow-up story coming to bookshelves, and now we know its storyline. Titled Ready Player Two, the novel will pick up where the original story left off, with Wade taking over Halliday’s empire. Only, in the vaults of the eccentric gamer’s estate, he unlocks yet another powerful tool that will attract all sorts of enemies. EW has the official book description, which reads as such:
Days after winning OASIS founder James Halliday's contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday's vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the OASIS a thousand times more wondrous — and addictive — than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle, and a new quest — a last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who'll kill millions to get what he wants. Wade's life and the future of the OASIS are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.
Sounds like a sequel! But does it sound like a movie? As you know, Steven Spielberg directed the adaptation of Ready Player One back in 2018, with X-Men star Tye Sheridan playing the lead role of Wade. Would they like to return to a film sequel? Sheridan recently was asked this by ComicBook, and he admitted:
Recently, like I've had people asking me questions about, you know, a Ready Player Two. You know, 'Is there going to be sequel?' And I think everybody's well aware that Ernie Cline is releasing a Ready Player Two, the novel. You know, but people keep asking me and I would love to have an answer for you and I think people, you know, will and can speculate all they want, but I don't really know what the plan is yet. I have my fingers crossed and, of course, I think it's a great and I loved working on that film, so yeah, I hope, I hope we get to do another.
Textbook safe answer. The bottom line is that Ready Player One earned $582 million at the worldwide box office, which should be more than enough to justify a sequel. Steven Spielberg doesn’t even have to return for it. This could be one of these franchise situations where new filmmakers step up and put their imprints on Cline’s world, like when JA Bayona joined Jurassic World, or Steven DeKnight took over Pacific Rim.
Much like Tye Sheridan, we will play the waiting game, and as soon as we have new Ready Player Two news, we will drop a quarter into the slot.