Steven Spielberg is to direct an adaptation of Ernie Cline's cult virtual reality novel Ready Player One. The sci-fi tale tells the story of teenager, Wade Watts, from the ghettos in Oklahoma in 2044.

Steven SpielbergSteven Spielberg will direct Ernie Cline's well-loved novel Ready Player One

Watts spends his time immersed in an online utopia known as OASIS and hunts - like millions of others - for the mysterious 'Easter Egg' which the game's late founder has stipulated will deliver his entire fortune to the one who uncovers it.

Spielberg certainly appears a reasonable choice to direct Cline's novel. He essentially defined the science fiction genre for the blockbuster era with Close Encounters and ET and scored critical acclaim for 2001's A.I and 2005's War of the Worlds.

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"We are thrilled to welcome Steven back to Warner Bros," said studio president Greg Silverman. "We had an historic series of collaborations in the 80s and 90s and have wanted to bring him back for years. As for Ready Player One, we have always felt that Steven was the dream director for this project."

Ready Player One was published in 2011 and won the Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association and the 2012 Prometheus Award. Warner Bros won the rights to the novel for a high six-figure upfront deal in a heated auction in 2010. 

According to Deadline, the book had Paramount and Fox chasing it hard, as well as the producers Temple Hill Entertainment, best known for the Twilight movies. 

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