Here’s something that’s a bit surprising: Steven Spielberg is still signed on to direct Ready Player One, the film based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name. Spielberg often drops out of big budget projects (Robopocalypse has been placed on indefinite hold), but for whatever reason, the director remains attached to this particular project — and it’s not as if it’s going to be an easy one to pull off.

THR reports that Warner Bros. and DreamWorks have set a December 15, 2017 release date for Ready Player One, with Spielberg still attached to direct. The screenplay was written by Zak Penn (Pacific Rim) and takes place in a virtual world known as Oasis, in which the game’s founder dies, leaving his vast fortune to any player who can make it through a harrowing treasure hunt.

What makes the jump from page to screen difficult is the large number of video game properties and references involved — in fact, almost the entire novel is nothing but one long string of heavy-handed references to ‘80s properties. It’s a nostalgia-driven novel for nostalgic nerd culture, and it’s not exactly the most subtle or awe-inspiring of stories. But given the recent (middling) success of Pixels, WB and DreamWorks may have been inspired push this project forward.

Ready Player One just doesn’t seem like the kind of movie Spielberg would be interested in directing. It’s heavily referential and relies on nostalgic name-dropping to carry its narrative — it’s the kind of movie someone who grew up on Spielberg would make, the kind of movie that would try to ape Spielberg’s style.