Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One Delayed, Avoids Clash With Star Wars Episode 8

Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film based on the Ernest Cline book about virtual reality and video games, is being delayed from its December 15, 2017 release–and it seems like Star Wars might have something to do with it. The film is now expected to open on March 30, 2018, according to Variety.

Star Wars: Episode VIII opens on December 15, 2017, a date it moved to last month when Disney announced that the film was delayed from May of that year. The delay for Ready Player One avoids a clash with Episode VIII, which, if the huge performance of The Force Awakens is any indication, is sure to be one of the year’s biggest movies.

This isn’t the first time a movie has moved dates to avoid opening on the same day as a Star Wars film. The Warcraft movie was previously slated to open on December 18, 2015, but was delayed to 2016 after Disney announced that The Force Awakens would come out then.

Variety reports that Ready Player One won’t have much major competition in its new March 2018 release window. “The new date coincides with Easter, and there are no major movies scheduled to open in April 2018, save for an animated film from Laika, giving Ready Player One a wide berth,” the site said. “It also comes between the conclusion of the Winter Olympics and the start of the World Cup, two events that can erode the movie-going audience.”

The Force Awakens has been an absolute smash hit. It currently stands as the No. 3 movie of all time, having generated around $2 billion at the global box office.

As for Ready Player One, X-Men writer Zak Penn wrote the most recent script for the movie. Penn and Cline also worked together on another video game movie, 2014’s Atari: Game Over. Ben Mendelsohn and Olivia Cooke star in Ready Player One.

Spielberg is also working the upcoming Halo TV series with Microsoft and 343 Industries. Though we haven’t heard much about it in more than a year, Microsoft stresses that it remains in development.

The next Star Wars movie is Rogue One, which opens this December. The movie is set before the original Star Wars, and focuses on a group of mercenaries who are hired to capture the plans to the Death Star.

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