The novel Ready Player One became a word-of-mouth sensation among nerds who dreamed of living out their ’80s-pop-culture fantasies in VR.
It was a simple, familiar sci-fi story that nevertheless had an air of believability, thanks to its wiki-esque reverence for geek trivia. For Atari enthusiasts, Rush fans, John Hughes devotees, and folks just looking for a certain flavor of wish fulfillment, the book made for a (mostly) fun read.
Then Warner Bros. got ahold of it, X-Men: The Last Stand screenwriter Zak Penn sprinkled in some GoldenEye and Stephen King references, and we ended up with a fairly watchable Spielberg adaptation — one that grossed $582 million.
Ready Player One sequel book
In a 2015 interview with Den of Geek, Penn let slip that Cline was working on a sequel to his smash-hit novel.
“Ernie’s working on a sequel to Ready Player One, and it is one of those great ideas that has endless possibilities,” Penn told the outlet.
“And to a certain extent, the longer it exists and the more Ernie thinks about it, the more he comes up with.”
In December of 2017, Cline himself announced the project.
“It is true. I can’t talk about it too much, but I can tell you there’s no better inspiration for a writer returning to a world they’ve already worked on [than] when they’re seeing Steven Spielberg bringing that world to life. To get to talk to him and get his input — one of the greatest storytellers of all time — and a storyteller that had a direct influence on my first novel, Ready Player One,” Cline said.
“Wade carries a grail diary through the whole story to collect his clues about the Easter egg hunt, and that’s because of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It would have been a different story if I had not grown up watching Steven’s movies. So to get to not only collaborate with him to bring the first story to life, but to bounce ideas off of him for the sequel, is the most gratifying thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.”
So we have Spielberg to thank for Ready Player Two, I guess.
Ready Player Two plot synopsis
Cline revealed the book’s premise during an October 2020 Comic Con panel.
“Days after winning OASIS founder James Halliday’s contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything,” Cline writes.
“Hidden within Halliday’s vaults, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the OASIS a thousand times more wondrous — and addictive — than even Wade dreamed possible… Wade’s life and the future of the OASIS are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.”
Ready Player Two audiobook narrator
The Ready Player One audiobook was a number-one New York Times bestseller, and — according to The Hollywood Reporter — narrator Wil Wheaton is signed on to record the sequel, too.
Will there be a Ready Player Two movie?
No sequel to the film adaptation has yet been announced. But it sounds like Spielberg is unlikely to return for a second movie.
“I think there’s a good chance that, if this one does well, Warner Bros. will want to make a sequel. I don’t know if Steven would want to dive back in, because he would know what he is getting into. He’s said that it’s the third-hardest film he’s made, out of dozens and dozens of movies. He said Jaws will always be the worst,” Cline told Collider.
“I really hope that, if we do make another one, that he would do it. Michael Crichton, the novelist, is the only one to get that lucky and have two of his books made into movies by Steven. But maybe I’ll get lucky, too.”
Ready Player Two movie cast
Ready Player One star Olivia Cooke told Digital Spy, “I’ve signed my life away. So I’m contracted to sequels, but I don’t know [if they’re happening]. I haven’t heard anything. We’ll see.”
Ready Player Two release date
The book’s sequel is due out on November 24, 2020.