Wil Wheaton is keeping himself busy these days during the pandemic running his post-Star Trek web series The Ready Room for CBS All Access, and he's got another major audiobook lined up returning to read "Ready Player Two." The Star Trek: The Next Generation star narrated Ernest Cline's original "Ready Player One" in March 2018, which became the first novel to reach No. 1 in print, ebook, and audio in its debut on the New York Times fiction bestsellers list. The title spent seven months at the top audiobook bestsellers' list. The print version was initially released in 2011.
Steven Spielberg adapted "Ready Player One" to a feature film in 2018 with Cline and Zack Penn writing the screenplay. The story takes place in 2045, where the earth is overwhelmed by climate change, overpopulation, and poverty. Most of the population escape to a virtual world known as The Oasis, ran by 80's obsessed James Halliday (Mark Rylance). Upon his passing, teenager and rogue genius Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) sets himself on a journey to solve Halliday's posthumous quest for his $500 billion fortune. As his alias Parzival in the Oasis, Wade reluctantly finds help along the way in the winner-take-all contest from Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), and Aech (Lena Waithe).
What many call the Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) of pop culture, several IPs are seen throughout the film for the pop culture cornucopia, including the DeLorean from Back to the Future. Ready Player One composer Alan Silvestri also worked on the Robert Zemeckis original 1985 film. Spielberg brought back the Tyrannosaurus rex from his 1993 film Jurassic Park. Not all IPs referenced in Cline's work could be used with Blade Runner, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind were omitted. Ready Player One was a modest success at the box office and critics alike garnering $582.9 million globally and a 72 percent favorable rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Wheaton previously read the audiobook version of Cline's "Armada" in 2015. The print edition of "Ready Player Two" comes via Penguin while the audio version comes via Penguin Random House. Both are slated for simultaneous release on November 24 and available for preorder.