If the deal closes, Rylance will join Simon Pegg, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn in the film based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel — set in the virtual universe Oasis.
In the story, set in the year 2044, humans have come to prefer Oasis to the real world. Sheridan will portray a teen who winds up competing in a treasure hunt against ruthless foes after the game’s founder dies.
Rylance would play Oasis creator James Donovan Halliday. “Bloodine” actor Mendelsohn has been cast as the villain.
Spielberg is producing “Ready Player One” through his Amblin Partners banner, along with Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah.
Warner Bros. recently pushed “Ready Player One” back three months to March 30, 2018, which allows the film to steer clear of “Star Wars: Episode VIII.”
Earlier this week, Rylance came on board to star in Spielberg’s historical drama “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” for Amblin Entertainment. Spielberg will shoot the film in the first quarter of 2017 after he finishes production on “Ready Player One.”
Rylance won and Oscar for best supporting actor in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” and is playing the title character in the director’s “The BFG.” Rylance is also starring in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” which goes into production next month.
Rylance is repped by Hamilton Hodell. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news about “Ready Player One.”