Steven Spielberg's READY PLAYER ONE gets out of the way of STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII

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So I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Star Wars is kind of a big deal in the world right now. Besides for winning over both critics and fans, the JJ Abrams directed Star Wars: The Force Awakenshas just been destroying box office records. Just this weekend past it became the only film in US history to earn more than $900 million domestically, and globally it’s currently sitting on $2.01 billion – the third highest worldwide total of all time. The Star Wars franchise is simply a box office juggernaut, and there’s only thing you do when it comes to juggernauts: Get out of their way.

And THR reports that that’s exactly what Warner Bros has done with Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. The feature film adaptation of Ernie Cline’s popular sci-fi novel was originally slated for release in the relatively quieter (at least for movies) festive season on December 15, 2017. Of course things rapidly got very un-quiet when Disney recently rescheduled Star Wars: Episode VIII to that very same date after seeing the massive holiday box office success of The Force Awakens.

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And because the folks at WB aren’t completely idiots and actually like picking up more than just table scraps, they’ve now shifted Ready Player One to the much more comfortable release slot of March 30, 2018 (because not even the legendary Steven Spielberg wants to take on Star Wars right now!). And honestly, Ready Player One has been in development for so long now – Cline first adapted his own novel into a screenplay back in 2010 – that adding an extra 3 months on to the wait is really not going to make that big of a difference now. Well, at least not in a negative way, as this will see the film release nicely during the Easter school holiday.

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The film is set in “a virtual world called Oasis, in which a teenager finds himself competing in a treasure hunt against ruthless foes after the game’s founder dies and offers his fortune as the grand prize”, and is littered with all kinds of video game and pop culture references from the 80’s and 90’s, so it could be the perfect vehicle to attract the kids/family demographic.

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It will still have some competition though as Universal also has its Wolf Man reboot – another entry in its new shared monster movie universe – slated for the same day. Since we’ve yet to see even a single movie from Universal’s new cinematic universe, we have no idea what kind of a box office threat it would be, but based on the A-list casting they’re doing for these ventures, Mr. Spielberg may have a high profile fight on his hands.

Last Updated: February 11, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • Really loved the book.

    • It really was a fantastic book! Looking forward to watching this on the big screen and seeing how they adapt it.

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