January 8, 2016 - 15:58 AMT
Ben Mendelsohn to join Steven Spielberg sci-fi “Ready Player One”

"Bloodline" actor Ben Mendelsohn is in talks to join the cast of Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One". As AceShowbiz reports citing The Hollywood Reporter, the 46-year-old actor will play the villain in the upcoming movie adaptation.

The studio had no comment on the casting, but sources say that the actor has been offered the part. If Mendelsohn really signs the deal, he will join Olivia Cooke, who is set to play the female lead, in the sci-fi movie based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Ernie Cline.

Published in 2011, the novel is set in the virtual utopia known as the OASIS, in which a boy named Wade Watts devoted his life to solve puzzles hidden within in. The puzzles are based on its creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and promise massive power and fortune to those who can unlock them.

While the team behind the movie continues to search for a male lead actor, Cooke is on board the project to play Watts' love interest and competitor, a Canadian blogger named Sam whose name in the virtual world is Art3mis. Meanwhile, Mendelsohn will play an executive for an Internet corporation that creates Oasis.

Spielberg will produce "Player One" with Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah. The movie is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on December 15, 2017.