Sci-fi novel Ready Player One was released in 2011, and while it wasn’t an across-the-board critical hit, it was a bestseller that’s been translated into 37 languages and formed the basis for a 2018 Steven Spielberg movie that rang up more than $500 million at the box office. Nerd nostalgia gets results, clearly.
There hasn’t been a sequel yet, but there will be soon: The Hollywood Reporter said today that Cline’s followup, Ready Player Two, will be released in North America on November 24.
There’s no word what the book will be about, although the title suggests a fairly direct progression from the first book, a tale of a teenager named Wade Watts who lives in a slum in the very unpleasant year 2045. Watts embarks upon a quest inside a digital world known as the Oasis to discover the key to a massive fortune, which he will earn (along with full control of The Oasis, and the girl) by proving that he is the best in the world at 1980s trivia and videogames.
The movie, as you can see in the trailer above, broadens that pastiche by working in more up-to-date references—Overwatch’s Tracer appears beside Street Fighter’s Chun Li, for instance—but it still clearly targets a very specific type of nostalgia for the heroic days of youth.
Cline actually announced that he was working on a sequel back in 2017, during a “trailer launch event” for the Ready Player One film, although he didn’t reveal any details. “I can’t talk about it too much, but I can tell you there’s no better inspiration for a writer returning to a world they’ve already worked on when they’re seeing Steven Spielberg bringing that world to life,” he said at the time (via ComingSoon.net).
“To get to talk to him and get his input, one of the greatest storytellers of all-time, and a storyteller that had a direct influence on my first novel, Ready Player One. Wade carries a grail diary through the whole story to collect his clues about the Easter Egg hunt, and that’s because of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It would have been a different story if I had not grown up watching Steven’s movies. So to get to not only collaborate with him to bring the first story to life but to bounce ideas off of him for the sequel is the most gratifying thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.”
Ready Player Two is available for preorder now.