‘Ready Player One’ Moves Away From ‘Star Wars: Episode 8’ to 2018
A few weeks ago, Disney and Lucasfilm changed the release date of Star Wars: Episode VIII to December 2017, partially to capitalize on the holiday season box office and partially to (reportedly) allow for some rewrites. Almost immediately after the announcement, James Cameron’s long-gestated and even longer-promised Avatar sequel moved away from that release date, citing yet another production delay and leaving Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One adaptation to fend for itself against Star Wars. And now it seems that Star Wars will mostly have December 2017 all to itself as Ready Player One has been pushed back to 2018.
Warner Bros. has shifted the release date for Ready Player One from December 15, 2017, where it would open against Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII, to March 30, 2018. That gives Star Wars a wide berth and pits Spielberg’s film against one of Universal’s classic monsters reboots — though the studio has not yet announced the title.
Although Ernest Cline’s pop-culture-driven novel certainly has its fans, this is a smart move for WB since Spielberg’s name alone can’t guarantee the film’s success at the box office against Episode VIII. Ready Player One is set in not-too-distant future where people plug into a virtual world known as OASIS, a place where they can escape the tedium of their real lives. When the CEO of OASIS dies, he leaves his fortune and the vast virtual landscape to the user who can solve his complex treasure hunt. The story centers on Wade Watts, who sets out to win the ultimate prize, fighting nefarious corporate entities and fellow players along the way.