I was really into the novel Ready Player One. I was also really into the news that Steven Spielberg was directing a movie adaptation (so was author Ernest Cline). And then I got really excited when I saw that it wasn't floating around in development purgatory, but was going to be released at the end of next year. And so I scrolled forward to December of 2017 in my calendar and marked the day, as I am sometimes wont to do, in all-caps: THIS IS THE DAY THE READY PLAYER ONE MOVIE COMES OUT.
But then Star Wars had to step in. Rian Johnson's as-of-yet untitled Episode VIII, originally slated to debut in May of next year, decided to push its release until December, instead. It wasn't due to problems, said the various reports, but rather to emphasize the roles of the new characters even further — not to mention set up December as the annual Star Wars box office demolition derby, as the franchise rolls out Rogue One this December, Episode VIII next December, the young Han Solo movie the December after that, and then capping off the new trilogy with Colin Trevorrow's Episode IX (before another spin-off movie comes out the following year).
And so Ready Player One had a choice. It could stand its ground, refusing to bow to the intergalactic behemoth, and potentially be lost entirely in the wash of hyped-up anticipation about what exactly Luke Skywalker had been doing while kicking it solo on some rocky island. Or, it could move its release — say, to something like March 30th, 2018 — after lightsaber fever had cooled off for the season, giving it time to blossom and bloom, and introduce its wild VR-inspiring adventures to the world.
According to Variety, it has decided to go that second route. I don't know if it's a choice James Halliday would approve of, but hey, let's not complain. We're getting a Ready Player One movie, people. We can wait three extra months.