Steven Spielberg Is Looking For His Next Action Heroine For Ready Player One

Illustration for article titled Steven Spielberg Is Looking For His Next Action Heroine For iReady Player One/i

Steven Spielberg is literally working on three movies at once. He’s got Bridge of Spies out next month, The BFG next Summer and then Ready Player One in December 2017. That’s the furthest off—but the casting process is already underway, and there’s even a shortlist for one of the lead roles.

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The Wrap reports that five actresses are on Spielberg’s shortlist to play Art3mis, the story’s female lead, an elite gunter in the OASIS. They are Elle Fanning (Super 8), Olivia Cooke (Ouija), Lola Kirke (Mistress America) and two others who remain a mystery. As for Parzival, the film’s hero, a Variety reporter says he heard Jurassic World actor Nick Robinson is among the actors being looked at, but that’s unconfirmed.

Spielberg may not make a final decision on these actresses for a while as he’s still working on the other two movies, but they’re under consideration because once he does have the time, he reportedly wants to make a decision quickly and move forward with production.

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All three of these actresses are really great but if it was my movie, I think I’d go with Kirke. Fanning and Cooke are both solid, but they’re also well-known. Kirke is newcomer who could totally become this potentially iconic character. She absolutely awesome in Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America and I feel like she’s got a bit more natural attitude than the other two. She’d be a great Art3mis.

Stepping back for a second, I seriously can’t even believe I’m writing this story. Is Steven Spielberg actually going to making a freaking Ready Player One movie? I know the film has a release date and it’s not news but it’s still hard for me to wrap my head around. This early casting just makes it more real.

[The Wrap, Variety]

Image credit: Nicc Balce, used with permission

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DISCUSSION

I’ve always had an issue with the idea of a movie of Ready Player One, and perhaps people who are in the industry can address it. More than anything, the book was a 1980’s pop culture blender, rapidly and casually dropping every pop culture reference you could. To make it into a movie that does even a little justice to the books, you would need to license Dungeons and Dragons, Joust, WarGames, Schoolhouse Rock, Ultraman, Pac Man, and about a million other things. This, it seems to me, is an intellectual property nightmare. But the charm of the book was the ‘80’s nostalga, so if they keep the general story, without the pop culture, it’ll lose everything. So I really don’t see how they can make it work. To the point that I’m perfectly happy with the movie in my head.

Does anyone who does IP licensing have any sense of what this would be like? Can it be done? Even by Spielberg?