YA-books-turned-movies are starting to become Olivia Cooke's specialty. After wowing audiences in this summer's indie hit Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Cooke will be Ready Player One's female lead, barring any negotiation hiccups, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Cooke reportedly beat out several well-known actresses for the coveted role of Sam/Art3mis, including Elle Fanning and Gone Girl's Lola Kirke.
Fans of Ready Player One know that Art3mis is a major part of the virtual-love story-meets-adventure-quest. The savvy web genius is not only main character Wade Watts' love interest, but also his key competitor in a race to collect all the Easter Eggs in a MMORPG with a prize some people are willing to kill for. So it's clearly a huge role, and Cooke certainly has a lot on her plate.
Steven Spielberg is producing the big screen adaptation of Ready Player One, but as it is still in very early days for the movie, there are precious few details about how the virtual escapades will translate to the screen alongside the live action dystopia the characters inhabit. Cooke is the first actor to be cast so far, and now the major questions are, who will play Wade and his BFF Aech? With one third of the trio in place, Spielberg will hopefully find his Wade and Aech soon.
Out of the three, Art3mis is by far the trickiest character to capture onscreen. Her online persona is coy, confident, and mysterious, creating an idea of a "perfect girl" as far as Wade is concerned. The character is bright and cautious about who she trusts within the game world, but she is not simply a love interest. A big part of Ready Player One involves perception. In the future, the Internet becomes an even bigger hiding place than it is now. The characters can be anyone online, but their offline personas don't always match up. In order for the moment when Sam and Wade truly meet to carry weight, there needs to be an actress with some serious skills playing the character, and Cooke has proven more than once that she has them.
The young actress' star is on the rise in a major way. Not only does she have a regular role on A&E's Bates Motel where she wows viewers every week as a young Norman Bates' confidante, Cooke has also been busy leaving her mark in indie movies like Earl, The Quiet Ones and Ouija. Even bigger news for fans of the actress: Cooke is reportedly on the short list for Star Wars: Episode VIII. If Cooke lands a role in the world's biggest franchise, then her place in Hollywood will be more than solidified.
In the meantime, I can't wait to see her bring Art3mis to life. The only thing that could make this news better is an announcement on who is playing Wade. Can someone call Teen Wolf's Dylan O'Brien? Because I have a feeling he would be perfect for the role.