2015 was a big year for Mark Rylance, a long overdue recognition of a tremendous talent that’s been around for quite some time. Sure, The Gunman was not great but Rylance was the best part of the film, and his work in Wolf Hall and Bridge of Spies was rightly praised on all corners of the internet and in print. There were plenty of things to admire in Steven Spielberg‘s Cold War drama, one of the director’s best films period, but the way Rylance carried himself and the way he said “Would it help?” were minor delights that most big-studio films simply are incapable of, if they think to add such details in the first place.
So, it wasn’t such a big surprise when Spielberg announced that Rylance would be voicing and doing the mo-cap work for The BFG, his upcoming Roald Dahl adaptation, and that he would be starring in his next “adult” drama, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. And now, THR is reporting that Rylance has been added to the already promising cast of Spielberg’s science-fiction epic Ready Player One, in which he will play James Donovan Halliday, the man who created the OASIS system at the center of the film. He joins the likes of Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg, Tye Sheridan, and Olivia Cooke, who happened to be the best part of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl.
Rylance is also set to appear in Christopher Nolan‘s Dunkirk, the director’s anticipated World War II epic, while Mendelsohn will next be seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Pegg is a co-lead in the third revamped Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond. For Rylance, this would seem to be the beginning of a fruitful new professional relationship, playing the DiCaprio to Spielberg’s Scorsese, and there are honestly few other actors who can pull off the old, wise man routine with as much grace and conviction as Mr. Rylance. Honestly, I hope they make 20 more movies together.