Mark your calendars, cinema fans, because the release date for Steven Spielberg’s next extravaganza has been set. The director’s adaptation of the Ernest Cline novel “Ready Player One” was recently announced. 

According to Variety, the legendary filmmaker’s next project, after his Roald Dahl adaptation, “The BFG,” will be to adapt the hit science-fiction novel for a Dec. 15, 2017, release. That means fans have a little more than a year-and-a-half to pick up Cline’s novel, as well as his second, “Armada,” and devour them both before Spielberg’s vision comes to life. 

For those who aren’t familiar, “Ready Player One” takes place in a futuristic dystopia. With the real world crumbling around it, humanity gets engrossed in an all-encompassing virtual reality, called Oasis, that satisfies people’s work, education and social needs. Things are running smoothly until one day the creator of the Oasis, a billionaire pop-culture-obsessed video-game programmer, dies. In his will, he announces that each player in the Oasis is eligible to inherit his vast fortune if he or she is able to find a carefully hidden "Easter egg" within the game. The competition lays dormant for several years until one day when a young high school student with a passion for both the Oasis and its creator, figures out the first clue. 

As the Verge points out, what makes “Ready Player One” unique from other dystopian stories is simply how knowledgeable every character is with 1980s pop culture. In order to be competitive, each hunter must have a library of knowledge of the creator’s likes and interests. Being a big video-game geek growing up in the era of hair bands and campy movies means characters are dropping Rush and “Star Wars” references left and right. As a result, Spielberg is the perfect choice to direct this very complex story. Given his direct involvement with properties like “E.T.,” “Gremlins,” “The Goonies,” “Back to the Future” and more, Entertainment Weekly notes that he’ll hopefully act as a bit of a bridge in the legal negotiations for use on all these references. 

Will you be checking out “Ready Player One” when it hits theaters Dec. 15, 2017? Comment below or tweet your SPOILER FREE thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.