‘Ready Player One’: Ben Mendelsohn On Why His Villain Isn’t Faithful To The Book

Ready Player One

One of my most anticipated films of 2018 is Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, the film tells the story a group of gamers in search of the ultimate prize hidden somewhere inside the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the book, so I’m really excited for the film. However, fans of the book might be disappointed to hear that not everything in Ready Player One will remain faithful to the original source material.

Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the film’s villain Nolan Sorrento, recently spoke to The Wrap and revealed that he is not trying to be faithful to the Ready Player One novel in his portrayal:

“I’m not trying to be faithful to the book Sorrento at all. So, anyone that’s coming at it wanting a faithful re-creation or transposing of the written Sorrento is not gonna get it. I would rarely do that because my feeling about written literature characters is you don’t get to better them. My basic preference is to just try and wipe that slate, and to try and do it in context of what is going on around the film. I treat them as very different entities in that way.”

The Rogue One actor elaborated further:

“I sort of see that stuff as playing a song live. And part of the joy of playing a song live is re-interpreting it, or switching it up, or giving it a newness or an alternative. Because I think the books are their own kind of perfection, and I don’t try to fall short of them.”

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One is based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline and features a cast that includes Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, Win Morisaki and Hannah John-Kamen. Here is the synopsis of the novel:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Ready Player One is slated for a March 30, 2018 release.

Source: The Wrap

10 Book-To-Film Adaptations That Succeeded (And 15 That Failed)

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Adaptations
As tomorrow’s big Netflix release, the second go-around at adapting A Series of Unfortunate Events, proves, adaptations of beloved source material are not easy to make.

Books and film, like all arts, have a special relationship. The turn of the century saw a massive increase in adaptations of epic fantasy and science-fiction, particularly for the coveted youth market, thanks mostly to two big franchises – Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Both legitimized fantasy as big-budget spectacle and prestige entertainment, when done with care. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the years since are littered with attempts at replicating the magic of those films, including the original Unfortunate Events movie, which is first up on our list (as an ambitious-but-flawed failure).

Now, in the age of Peak TV, adapting these massive sagas are possible on television too. The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones both kicked open doors to imitators in the same ways Potter and Rings did, in terms of scope and budget. Shows like MTV’s Shannara and Hulu’s upcoming The Handmaid’s Tale, both based on famous books, draw directly from this trend. It’s also given second life to properties that didn’t work as features, such as Unfortunate Events.

For this article, I focused on the biggest in YA and children’s literature, in honor of Unfortunate Events return to screens (I’ll be recapping a “book” aka two episodes a day starting tomorrow morning!), while focusing on the criteria to rank them by. When it comes to judging these stories – some classics, some decidedly not – I kept in mind whether the films a) received a sequel b) made money at the box-office and c) were critically acclaimed.

  • Honorary success mentions: Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Stardust, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Honorary failure mentions: Bridge to TerabithiaCharlotte’s Web, The Host

Click Next to scroll through all the failures and successes.

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Jeff Grantz

Jeff Grantz

Jeff Grantz is an Atlanta-based writer, filmmaker and host of The Amazing Nerdiverse Podcast (on iTunes and YouTube).