The sequel to Ernest Cline’s best-selling science-fiction novel Ready Player One will arrive on 24 November.
The long-awaited follow-up, titled Ready Player Two, will be published by Century in hardcover, eBook and audiobook in the UK.
The original 2011 novel followed protagonist Wade Watts on his journeys within the virtual universe the Oasis, an internet-based simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies in virtual reality.
The creator of the Oasis promised to leave his fortune to whoever could unravel a series of cryptic clues and challenges which required an encyclopaedic knowledge of pop culture.
The book was praised for its fantasy world-building and loving retro references to entertainment touchstones such as Back To The Future.
Cline adapted the story in a 2018 film, directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn.
It was subsequently nominated at the Oscars in the best visual effects category.
In 2018, Cline revealed that he was planning to write a trilogy of books set in this world, and hopes Spielberg will return for the sequel.
“I had actually mapped out, with outlines, what I thought Parts 2 and 3 would be,” Cline told Collider.
“When I first wrote Ready Player One and I registered the domain name online, I also registered Ready Player Two and Ready Player Three because I knew that someday I might want to tell more stories. I did so much work creating the OASIS and setting up in the first story, and it seemed to have so much potential to tell so many other stories, beyond just this contest, that I knew I would want to return to it someday.”
“I think there’s a good chance that, if this one does well, Warner Bros. will want to make a sequel,” he adds. “I don’t know if Steven would want to dive back in, because he would know what he is getting into. He’s said that it’s the third hardest film he’s made, out of dozens and dozens of movies.”
The film was a big box office hit, taking $582.9 million at the global box office.
Ready Player Two is available for pre-order now.