Ben Mendelsohn Eyeing Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’

“Bloodline” actor Ben Mendelsohn is in early talks to play the villain in Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” sources tell Variety.

Olivia Cooke is currently attached as the female lead as Spielberg continues to test actors for the male protagonist. Warner Bros. had no comment.

The Warner Bros., Village Roadshow and DreamWorks release is based on the buzzy Ernest Cline book of the same name. Spielberg, Donald De Line, Dan Farah and Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce, with Bruce Berman serving as exec producer.

Cline’s novel, published in 2011, follows the rise of virtual reality universe the Oasis, which humans living in the not-too-distant future begin to value above the real world. Zak Penn adapted the story for the screen.

Pic is slated to bow on Dec. 15, 2017.

Mendelsohn is becoming the go-to actor for playing creepy bad guys on both the small and big screen. He is currently filming “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” in which he is set to play the villain. He also received an Emmy nomination for playing the trouble-making brother in Netflix’s “Bloodline.” Mendelsohn received strong reviews for his role in the drama “Mississippi Grind” opposite Ryan Reynolds.

He is repped by CAA and United Management. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

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