Most would likely agree that Steven Spielberg has helmed a long list of cultural touchstones that have come to define their respective decades. Although the blockbuster director has won over critics and the Academy in the last few years, his latest works have yet to galvanize the masses in the way he once did with, say, Jaws or E.T. or Jurassic Park. That may soon change.
After holding on the rights for years, Spielberg has finally been given the green light by Warner Bros. to go ahead and adapt Ernest Cline’s best-selling novel Ready Player One for the silver screen. We’ll just have to wait all the way until December 2017 to see it.
The story follows a high school student in the year 2044 who escapes the hostile wasteland he lives in by entering a virtual world called OASIS, an environment built on the ’70s and ’80s pop culture memories of its creator. When the main character finds a clue to unlock the treasure hidden in the game, he must protect himself from other players desperate to claim victory themselves.
Released in 2011, the book was a huge hit and garnered comparisons to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Who Framed Roger Rabbit for its “young man seeks old man’s treasure” thesis and its constant pop culture references. For example, Atari, the John Hughes catalog, and Star Wars all feature in the book’s virtual OASIS.
Admittedly, it’s exciting to see Spielberg returning to a more youthful premise, as his last two films definitely found themselves on the adult end of the spectrum. Mark your calendars: Ready Player One hits theaters December 15, 2017.