Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Eyes ‘Rogue One’ Star Ben Mendelsohn
When you need an actor to play a very specific, charismatic kind of bad guy, you go to Ben Mendelsohn, and it appears Steven Spielberg is doing just that for Ready Player One. The star of Netflix’s Bloodline and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in talks to play the villain in Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s nostalgia-heavy sci-fi novel.
Variety reports that Mendelsohn is in talks to play the main antagonist in Ready Player One, Spielberg’s next project following the upcoming live-action / CG hybrid film The BFG. Mendelsohn is no stranger to villainous roles — last year he played the deeply flawed and antagonistic black sheep brother in Bloodline and a sleazy, opportunistic businessman in Ryan Gosling’s Lost River. This year he’ll also play the big bad in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Ready Player One is set in the near future, where people connect to a virtual reality world known as OASIS, a vast landscape laden with pop culture references to decades past. When the creator of OASIS dies, he leaves behind a treasure hunt, promising his fortune and ownership of his company to the player who finds an easter egg hidden deep within the virtual society.
Although a character name was not officially confirmed, it would appear that Mendelsohn’s Ready Player One role is that of Nolan Sorrento, a high-level executive at Innovative Online Industries, an internet service provider that hopes to take over OASIS for monetary gain. Sorrento is the head of a scientific department charged with researching and analyzing OASIS to find the easter egg’s location.
Mendelsohn joins Me and Earl and the Dying Girl star Olivia Cooke in the upcoming film, which Spielberg is directing based on a screenplay by Zak Penn (Pacific Rim). Ready Player One is set to arrive on December 15, 2017.