Star Wars: Rogue One star in talks to join Spielberg's Ready Player One as main villain

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Jan 7, 2016, 10:03 AM EST

One of the most fascinating films currently in development is Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, and now we know who could be playing the main villain.

Variety is reporting Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodlines) is in “early talks” to play the film’s Big Bad, who is likely the shady businessman character Nolan Sorrento. If Mendelsohn doesn’t sound too familiar, give it a little while, because he’s also playing a key role in Disney’s upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One. The guy has garnered a ton of buzz for his role in Netflix’s Bloodlines series, and looks to be an excellent fit for the Ready Player One gig, assuming the deal pans out.

If you’re unfamiliar with the project, here’s the book’s official synopsis:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines — puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win — and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Ironically enough, Cline’s novel makes several pop-culture references to Spielberg’s films, so having him at the helm is creating a somewhat awkward situation. Spielberg has since clarified that he’ll retain the pop-culture angle but will likely shelve much of the self-referential stuff back to his own projects.

Ready Player One is set to open Dec. 15, 2017.

(Via Variety)