Ben Mendelsohn in Talks for Spielberg’s Ready Player One

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Ben Mendelsohn in Talks for Spielberg's Ready Player One.

Ben Mendelsohn in talks for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One

Ben Mendelsohn (Netflix’s “Bloodline,” upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) is in talks to play the villain in Steven Spielberg’s big screen adaptation of Ready Player One, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The trade says that Ben Mendelsohn has met on the project and has an offer, with negotiations in the early stages. Mendelsohn would play an executive for an Internet corporation that has designs on OASIS.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl‘s Olivia Cooke will star as Ar3mis, an OASIS avatar belonging to the coincidentally-named Samantha Cook. The search for the male lead is still underway.

A Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures production, Ready Player One is based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name. The film is being directed by Spielberg, who is also producing alongside Donald De Line, under his De Line Pictures banner, Dan Farah and Kristie Macosko Krieger. Bruce Berman will serve as executive producer.

Set in the near future, Ready Player One follows outcast teenager Wade Watts, who escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to the OASIS, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives. When the eccentric billionaire who created the OASIS dies, he offers up his vast fortune as the prize in an elaborate treasure hunt. Along with gamers from around the world, Wade joins the adventure, and quickly finds himself pitted against powerful corporate foes and other ruthless competitors who will do anything, in the oasis or the real world, to reach the treasure first.

Ready Player One is slated to hit theaters December 15, 2017.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)