Ready Player One release date pushed back

Steven Spielberg isn’t underestimating the power of Star Wars

When faced with the power of the unstoppable juggernaut that is Star Wars, it seems that everyone must back off. Even the likes of Steven Spielberg, as it turns out, as his adaptation of Ernest Cline’s mega-selling novel, Ready Player One, has been pushed back from its original release date of 15 December 2017 (the same date as Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII) to 30 March 2018.

All in all, it’s a perfectly sensible choice. Considering how well The Force Awakens has done (grossing $2 billion and counting), going up directly against it unnecessarily would just be silly. Furthermore, by way of competition March currently only has an unnamed Universal monster movie (believed to be a new take on The Wolf Man) and Egypt-set thriller Anubis, so it should be an infinitely less intimidating month for new releases.

For those who are unfamiliar with the story, Ready Player One posits us in a future Earth where much of the population – including the young protagonist, Wade Watts – spends their waking hours jacked into a massive online server known as OASIS, where the players spend their time searching for clues in its 80s pop culture-infused environment. But when Wade (who goes by the moniker of ‘Parzival’ in the game) finds one of the clues, he immediately finds himself beset by rival players who are willing to kill to discover OASIS’s secrets  – including the sinister suits of Innovative Online Industries, who are seeking to appropriate and regulate it for their own ends.

Currently, the only cast members confirmed are Ben Mendelsohn as Innovative Online Industries official Nolan Sorrento and Olivia Cooke as Wade’s fellow hacker Samantha Evelyn Cook, aka ‘Art3mis’, with Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand, Elektra) and Eric Eason (A Better Life, Manito) co-writing the script.

Ready Player One will be released in cinemas on 30 March 2018. For more news about the biggest films, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.