Author Ernest Cline sold his first novel back in June of 2010. That novel, Ready Player One, would go on to becoming a New York Times bestseller and stay on that list for more than 100 weeks,. It has been translated into over 37 languages, and is in its paperbacks 17th printing. By the way, it was also a huge hit in the movie theaters. Now it’s time for a Ready Player One sequel, Ready Player Two.
READY PLAYER TWO HAS BEEN WRITTEN
Over the years, since Ernest Cline published Ready Player One, he has been pushed for a sequel. Thankfully, Ready Player Two has now been written and will be introduced to fans. Expect the book on store shelves November 24, 2020.
For Cline’s part, he said the difficulty of writing Ready Player Two was writing a true sequel. Keeping his story based on his first novel and not the movie version of his first novel. “I’m trying to write a sequel to the book and not to the movie, because the movie has changed things,” Cline told THR.
Ernest Cline hasn’t revealed the plot of Ready Player Two yet, but given that it’s a true sequel expect things to pick up where the first book left off.
WHO WILL RETURN FOR READY PLAYER TWO?
Will Steven Spielberg return for a sequel, if Ready Player Two is turned into a movie? Chances are, with the success of the first film, a second will be on the way, even though nothing has been formally announced. And chances also are that Spielberg would at least consider it. He is not opposed to directing sequels, as he has done for the Indiana Jones franchise as well as the first two Jurassic Park movies. He is a busy man, though. Currently, he is putting the finishing touches on the remake of the musical West Side Story and also working on the story for Indiana Jones 5.
But a good indication that a Ready Player Two movie could be a reality comes from Olivia Cooke, who played Samantha Cook in the first movie. Cooke told Digital Spy that she is under contract for more films. “I’ve signed my life away, so I’m contracted to sequels but I don’t know [if they’re happening],” the actress said. “I haven’t heard anything. We’ll see.”
So will Ready Player Two happen? Almost certainly, it’s just a matter of time. For now though, it hasn’t been greenlit and it probably won’t be until closer to the release of the bookReady Player Two
THE WORLD OF READY PLAYER ONE
Ready Player Two won’t work without Spielberg. Director Steven Spielberg took on the novel Ready Player One with production beginning in 2016, the script was written by Zak Penn, but co-written by Cline. The rights to Ready Player One were purchased by Warner Bros. a full year before the novel was published with Cline getting the first crack at the script. Penn was later brought on to take care of the re-writes. The film starred Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, TJ Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance.
The movie, as well as the novel, takes place in 2045, where most of humanity uses OASIS, a virtual reality software program, to escape from the run-down world they now live in. After the program’s co-creator James Halliday dies, it is revealed that there is a Golden Easter Egg that grants the finder ownership of OASIS. Contestants must obtain three keys by winning three challenges. They can then use these keys to unlock the gate that stores the Golden Easter Egg. As a caveat, the winner would also inherit Halliday’s $500 billion fortune.
POP CULTURE REFERENCES GALORE
One of the main attractions to Ready Player One was the many pop culture references made throughout the movie and you should expect the same from Ready Player Two. There were over one hundred references made, mainly from the 70s and 80s time period but there was also reference made from the 90s, 2000s, and 2010s. These references included films, television, toys, music, video games, and comics from all these eras.
While Cline had no issues with the copyrights to these elements, he knew that gaining permission to use them in the film would be a different matter altogether. Enter Steven Spielberg. It’s nice having that sort of clout in Hollywood.
Altogether, Spielberg says they got perhaps 80% of the material they wanted to use in Ready Player One. That 80% came based on Spielberg’s good name throughout Hollywood.
Certain references they were not able to obtain were rights to Blade Runner, which was going to be a large part of the storyline, but with Blade Runner 2049 in production at the time, Spielberg and company were not able to secure those rights. Instead, they went with The Shining as an homage to Stanley Kubrick.
They also wanted to use the character Ultraman, which Cline’s novel leaned on heavily, but the rights over that character were still in a legal dispute, so Ultraman was nixed for Iron Giant.
One more surprising denial was Spielberg’s use of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Even though this was one of Spielberg’s biggest hits, Columbia Pictures would not give up its right to Warner Bros. and allow them to use any likeness from the movie. 80% is not bad though!
Hopefully they’ll be able to work some of these in to the sequel Ready Player Two, now that those hold outs have seen how successful this concept can be.
THANK YOU STEVEN SPIELBERG
Spielberg is essential to making Ready Player Two, but it wasn’t easy bringing him into the fold. Well, strike that. He was on board with the movie in general, but Spielberg had a hard time including elements from his own movies. Cline told The Hollywood Reporter(THR), “[It was a] a unique circumstance where we kind of had to convince him to do it. But mostly he would say yes when it was something he had produced and not directed.”
Once Spielberg relented to using references from his produced movies, he took a look at the script. One thing producers made Cline omit from his original version was a scene there is a zero-gravity dance club inside the Oasis. Cline said to THR, “That was the first thing they made me take out. It was way too expensive.” He then shared Spielberg’s reaction to Cline taking out the scene. “Steven said, ‘Why’d you take this out?’ And they were like, ‘Well, we weren’t sure how to do it and we thought it’d be too expensive.’ [Suddenly], those were no longer problems.” Yep, nice to have that kind of pull in Hollywood.