‘Ready Player One’ Adds Ben Mendelsohn in Villainous Role

     January 6, 2016

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While we’re still waiting for confirmation on just what sort of character Ben Mendelsohn will be playing in Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we can now report that he’s been offered the role of the main antagonist in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One adaptation. The sci-fi story, based on Ernest Cline’s nostalgia-steeped novel of the same name, centers on Wade, a poor orphan teenager who finds himself on the biggest treasure hunt of all time within the massive virtual world known as Oasis. Finding the game’s final Easter egg will set Wade up for life, but a powerful and ruthless multinational corporation executive named Nolan Sorrento will stop at nothing to claim the prize for himself.

As THR reports, in so many words, Mendelsohn is in early negotiations to play Sorrento. Their write-up doesn’t name the antagonist explicitly, but their description of Mendelsohn’s character as “an executive for an Internet corporation that has designs on Oasis” perfectly fits the bill for Sorrento. Olivia Cooke has already been cast as the female lead, Wade’s interest and competitor, a Canadian blogger who goes by the name of Art3mis in the virtual world. Wade, whose avatar name is Parzival, has yet to be cast.


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Image via Netflix

The casting of Mendelsohn for this particular role is an inspired one. Anyone’s who’s seen his work in the Netflix series Bloodline knows that he’s an absolute chameleon in the role of Danny Rayburn. If he can bring such a powerful yet subtle performance to as complex a character as that, certainly he’ll be capable of bringing some sort of nuance to what’s arguably a mustache-twirling villain in Nolan Sorrento. In an interesting twist, The Martian author Andy Weir has actually written a bit of Ready Player One fan-fiction that ties into the Sorrento character, which you can read right here. With Weir’s success thanks to The Martian and more screenwriting work ahead of him, there’s every possibility that he might get some influence over how the character is handled. (That’s some high-level nerdery, right there.) We’ll see how it all works out when Ready Player One hits screens on December 15, 2017.

For more on Ready Player One, be sure to check out some of our recent coverage below:


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