Mark Rylance has been in the news quite a bit lately, almost as much as he’s been popping up in Steven Spielberg’s repertoire. Following the announcement of his casting in Spielberg’s The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara earlier this week, his recent Oscar win for Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies and the trailer release for BFG (guess who the producer is–rhymes with Fielberg), in which he plays the titular character, more news has just dropped.

Rylance has been been tapped to take on the role of James Donovan Halliday in the highly-anticpated sci-fi thriller Ready Player One, produced by, you guessed it, Spielberg for Amblin Entertainment.


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Halliday is the eccentric, hermit who created OASIS, a virtual and idyllic world that the general populace has come to prefer over the real world (can’t say we blame them). Withdrawn from the public much in the vein of Howard Hughes, Halliday passes away but leaves his billions to be discovered in a treasure hunt for OASIS gamers from all over the world. Teenager Wade Watts (Sheridan) joins the hunt but comes up against the likes of greedy, ruthless opponents who are after the same prize. It becomes a question of survival and strategy to stay in the game. The cast already includes Simon Pegg, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn.

Rylance will be very busy as he’s also on board for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk set to film immediately before Ready Player One in May. Both films are under the Warner Bros. umbrella.

Ready Player One, based on the 2011 novel by Ernest Cline, was initially set for release in December 2017 but was moved so as not to compete with box office juggernaut Star Wars: Episode VIII. You’ll now be able to catch it in theaters March 30, 2018.


Images via MPAA, Comedy Central