What young actor wouldn't want to work with Steven Spielberg, especially when it comes to the adaptation of a literary phenomenom?
Richard Dreyfuss was a promising young actor (American Graffiti) when he was elevated into a star in Spielberg's adaptation of Peter Benchley's Jaws back in 1975. Whoopi Goldberg had already demonstrated her potential on stage before she launched onto another level with her starring role in Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple in 1985. Young Christian Bale emerged onto the world stage with his starring role in Spielberg's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun in 1987.
Now Spielberg has selected Tye Sheridan to star in his adaptation of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, according to Deadline. Sheridan already has an impressive resume, making his screen debut in Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life as one of Brad Pitt's sons, followed by notable turns in Jeff Nichols' Mud and David Gordon Green's Joe (watch a great clip above). He graduated to a leading role in the otherwise forgettable horror-comedy Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse last year and will next be seen in X-Men: Apocalypse as Scott Summers, aka Cyclops.
Ready Player One was published in 2011 and quickly found favor with geek readers of a certain age, thanks in large part to its plentiful references to 1980's pop culture. Sheridan will be portraying an impovished orphan named Wade, the lead character, who is obsessed with a virtual treasure hunt in the virtual world that forms the spine of the story, with a huge fortune at stake for the winner.
Oddly enough, Wade's chief competitor (and love interest) was cast last September. That would be Olivia Cooke, a promising young actress who has already delivered very good performances in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (above) and starred in the surprise box office hit Ouija. In January, Ben Mendelsohn was touted to be playing the villain and that's now been confirmed.
Interestingly, The Hollywood Reporter notes that the search for the male lead began last fall and stretched across several continents. Spielberg "was never quite happy" with the actors he saw. Reportedly, Sheridan was the most serious contender as of early in the month, beating out hundreds, if not thousands, of other candidates.
Ready Player One will open in theaters on March 30, 2018.