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WIRE Buzz: Ready Player One book sequel boots up a release date. Plus, The One and Only Ivan trailer

By Josh Weiss
Ready Player One

It's time to plug back into the OASIS because Ernest Cline is publishing a sequel to Ready Player One this fall, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. As you might expect, the follow-up is titled Ready Player Two, although no story specifics have dropped yet.

Described as a combination of The Matrix and Willy Wonka, Ready Player One first hit shelves in 2011 and spent over 100 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. Set in 2045, the plot centers on a sprawling scavenger hunt inside a virtual world known as the OASIS. Thanks to its eccentric co-creator, James Halliday, the world enjoys a renaissance of 1980s pop culture.

Halliday's death kicks off a global contest for control of the OASIS. After the competition stagnates for several years, protagonist Wade Watts starts making headway, which draws the attention of other players and Nolan Sorrento, head of a company that wants to corporatize the virtual world.

Naturally, Steven Spielberg was the one to adapt the novel into a feature film, which hit theaters in late March of 2018. It made over $580 million at the global box office and currently holds a 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Going on sale on Nov. 24, Ready Player Two is now available for pre-order.


A CGI gorilla voiced by Sam Rockwell dreams of returning to his jungle home in the first trailer for Disney's adaptation of The One and Only Ivan. Based on the children's book by K.A. Applegate, the movie (coming exclusively to Disney+) was directed by Thea Sharrock (Me Before You).

Sharing a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with Stella the elephant (Angelina Jolie) and Bob the dog (Danny DeVito), Ivan starts to reconnect with his past upon the arrival of baby elephant Ruby (Brooklynn Prince). Tired of being a sideshow attraction, the big ape makes a break for freedom.

Watch the Dumbo-ish trailer below:

The rest of the CGI flock is voiced by Helen Mirren (Snickers the poodle), Chaka Khan (Henrietta the chicken), Ron Funches (Murphy the rabbit), and Phillipa Soo (Thelma the parrot). Ramon Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt, and Bryan Cranston play the human characters.

The One and Only Ivan — with a screenplay penned by Mike White (School of Rock) — swings onto Disney+ on Aug. 14. 

The One and Only Ivan poster



The Michael Bay-produced Songbird, which is set to kick off production in Los Angeles today, just added two more cast members to its ensemble roster. According to Deadline, Bradley Whitford (Get Out) and Jenna Oretga (Jane the Virgin) have boarded the pandemic thriller, which is the first film to shoot in Hollywood since the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Taking place in a dystopian world ravaged by a pandemic, the movie tells the story of an immune delivery man trying to reunite with his quarantined girlfriend. Demi Moore, Craig Robinson, Paul Walter Hauser, and Peter Stormare co-star.

Bradley Whitford & Jenna Ortega

Last week, the project was hit with a "Do Not Work" order from SAG-AFTRA that was resolved over the Fourth of July weekend.

"Finding a safe and practical way back into production has not been easy, however, our partnership with the guilds and unions has been a true testament to our great Hollywood community," producer Adam Goodman told Deadline. "Throughout the process they were awesome partners at finding a way to get their members working again, but always making safety and welfare the first priority. As artists, we need to keep telling stories, and times like these must be documented."

Adam Mason (Into The Dark) directs from a script he wrote with Simon Boyes (Misconduct).