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After months of searching, Tye Sheridan has emerged as the lead for Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Ernie Cline novel for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow.
Sheridan now joins Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn in the story set in a virtual world called Oasis, in which a teenager finds himself competing in a treasure hunt against ruthless foes after the game’s founder dies and offers his fortune as the grand prize.
Sheridan’s casting comes after numerous waves of searches dating back to fall 2015. Spielberg read and tested across several continents but was never quite happy. In an unusual situation, the romantic interest and the villain were picked even as the lead role remained vacant.
In a last-ditch effort and showing the difficulties of the search, the studio and the casting directors even established an open call, setting up the website ReadyPlayerOne.com, basically letting the entire world submit for the part of Wade Watts.
Meanwhile, on the Hollywood front, Sheridan signed a holding deal for the part early this month while Spielberg and the casting directors looked at the submissions.
After everything was vetted, Sheridan still remained the choice, beating out thousands.
The actor first gained attention in Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life and Jeff Nichols’ Mud opposite Matthew McConaughey. His recent credits include The Stanford Prison Experiment and Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.
Sheridan next will be seen in X-Men: Apocalypse playing Scott Summers/Cyclops and indies Detour, opposite Bel Powley, and Grass Stains. He is repped by WME, Mosaic and Stone, Genow.
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