8:52am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Warner Bros. Selects HTC Vive as VR Partner for 'Ready Player One'
Warner Bros. Pictures has selected virtual reality firm HTC Vive as its exclusive VR partner for all content tied to the theatrical and home entertainment releases of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film Ready Player One.
Hollywood studios are starting to explore the potential of VR to develop additional content for its movies, and Ready Player One, a sci-fi action thriller that unfolds largely within the VR space, seems tailor-made for the format. Warners has already been experimenting with VR, including through its Suicide Squad property.
Per the agreement, Vive will produce multiple pieces of Ready Player One-themed VR content. It will be available through Viveport, which will distribute the content globally across all VR in-home platforms, from high-end PC based systems to mobile applications. In addition, Vive plans to bring Ready Player One content to its Viveport Arcade platform for location-based entertainment, as well as to several not-named "global consumer events." Terms of the deal were not revealed.
“Ready Player One is one of the most anticipated movies in the world, and has tremendous potential to engage and entertain the worldwide market, showcasing the transformative nature of VR,” said Viveport president Rikard Steiber in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Warner Bros. to bring these experiences to consumers, on all platforms, around the globe.”
While it was not announced if Spielberg would be involved in creating this content, the director is already involved in VR through The Virtual Reality Company, which was co-founded by Maleficent director Robert Stromberg and for which Spielberg is an advisor and shareholder.
Based on Ernest Cline's book, Ready Player One is slated for global theatrical release on March 30, 2018 from Warners, Amblin and Village Roadshow.
Virtual reality is expected to be a big topic this week at theater owners confab CinemaCon.