Steven Spielberg turns Birmingham into a dystopian city as he shoots new film Ready Player One

The streets of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter have been turned into a dystopian American city for Steven Spielberg’s new film Ready Player One.

The acclaimed Hollywood director has been photographed standing at the top of a ladder assessing shots on set whilst dressed in a quilted jacket and navy blue flat cap.

The movie, based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name, will star Oscar winner Mark Rylance opposite Simon Pegg and Bloodline star Ben Mendelsohn.

It centres on a young outcast called Wade Watts, played by Mud star Tye Sheridan, who escapes from his daily life by logging on to a multi-player online game called The Oasis.

Photographs of the set posted on Twitter show heavily graffiti-covered walls, streets lined with litter and damaged cars, as well as carefully concealed British phone boxes.

Filming of the blockbuster began in earnest after the Hollywood director’s crew set up camp on a council car park.

Warner Bros lighting vans, numerous caravans and other support vehicles have been parked in and around the Ludgate Hill car park during the current filming run, which is scheduled to end on Saturday, and includes some dramatic car chases.

Passer-by Wayne Brownhill likened the scenes being shot in the Second City to the Mad Max franchise.

The Birmingham-born 48-year-old said: “It’s amazing that it takes so many people and vehicles to make a film.

“Apparently he (Spielberg) has been wearing a big coat and a hat so people don’t recognise him.

“I was surprised to see it but it’s great for the city. And you know it’s going to be a good film because it’s a Steven Spielberg film.”

Wayne’s wife, Catherine, added: “If Steven Spielberg asks if he can make a movie in Birmingham, you are not going to say no are you?”

The film is expected to be released in UK cinemas on March 30 2018.

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