Mark Rylance Joins Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Adaptation

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Oscar winners Mark Rylance and Steven Spielberg must really love each other, because they sure are going to be seeing a lot of one another in the coming months (and years). Rylance plays the titular character in The BFG, Spielberg’s soon-to-be-released adaptation of that Roald Dahl book, and it was announced recently that he’d be playing Pope Pius IX in The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. Rylance’s schedule apparently wasn’t full enough, as it’s just been reported that he’s signed on as part of Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.

Rylance joins Tye Sheridan, Simon Pegg, Olivia Cooke, and Ben Mendelsohn for a movie that will take place in a dystopian near-future where lives are primarily lived inside of OASIS, a Second Life-esque world that comes to overshadow the realm of corporeality. Sheridan plays the lead, Wade Watts, who devotes his life to finding a treasure left behind by OASIS’ creator, James Halliday — who will be played by Rylance. Oddly enough, Pegg will play Ogden Morrow, a man written as a towering, bearded, bear of a man.

The book is mostly a collage of late ’70s early ’80s pop culture references, including references to some of Spielberg’s work, so it’ll be interesting to see how the film manages to work those in while honoring copyright and also creating a narrative that doesn’t exclude a young audience who might not know, god forbid, what WarGames is.