Ready Player One: Spielberg Wants Gene Wilder For Unnamed Role

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a pop culture junkie’s wet dream of a book, and one I have been continuously sharing with friends since I first read it a couple of years ago. RPO is one of those books that was optioned for film before it even released, with a number of potential directors already expressing interest in the film adaptation since. It wasn’t too long ago that it was announced that Steven Spielberg (who?) would be taking over as director. We haven’t heard much about the film until some very interesting and potentially amazing news dropped.

It looks like Spielberg’s first major casting decision on the film (at least that we know about) has been to try and lure Gene Wilder out of retirement for a lead role in the film.

Another You (1991)
Another You (1991)

Wilder, who we at GB are big fans of, hasn’t been seen on the big screen since 1991’s Another You, with frequent collaborator Richard Pryor (and site favorite Stephen Lang).  He did a few TV movies after that, and his last credited appearance was on Will & Grace in 2003, after which he disappeared from Hollywood. He left us with so many great roles from films like Young FrankensteinBlazing Saddles, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Silver StreakStir Crazy, and so many more that we couldn’t be more excited to see him back for this.

But who could he play? The original rumor only stated it was one of two lead characters, and if you read the book you can probably imagine the role he would be perfect for. But let’s get into the story of RPO first before we start to speculate.

ready player oneReady Player One follows Wade Watts AKA Parzival and some of his fellow “gunters” (egg hunters) as they quest for the real life treasure of James Halliday, the creator of the virtual reality program known as OASIS. In this futuristic dystopian setting, OASIS offers an escape to crowded masses who live, work, play, and exist in the simulated reality.

Upon Halliday’s passing, he left his massive estate, including control of OASIS, to the winner of his ultimate Pop Culture themed Easter Egg hunt, which explores classic arcade games, 80’s television, kaiju monster movies, and more of the things everyone reading GB probably goes crazy over. Unfortunately, following this announcement the hunt went stagnate and for years nobody was any closer to finding the first clue to begin the Easter Egg Hunt. Until somebody got close….

No, I don’t write movie synopsis. Maybe I should. The important pieces are there of course. We have our two lead characters, with Wade/Parzival as our main POV character. The young, main POV character.

Which makes the most likely role for Wilder to take on being that of OASIS creator James Halliday. Sure, there are a lot of characters who he could play, but our money is on Halliday. Assuming of course, he agrees to come out of retirement for Spielberg.

What do you think of Wilder possibly joining the cast of Ready Player One? How excited are you for this adaptation? Have you not read the book yet? Let us know in the comments section below and join the discussion on the Grizzlybomb Facebook Page!

good day


Images: 20th Century Fox, Random House,
Paramount Pictures, TriStar Pictures, & Retro-Fiend

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