Based on Ernest Cline's popular novel, Ready Player One is one of the most hotly anticipated films of 2018. Helmed by Steven Spielberg and starring the likes of Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg, this sci-fi adventure film looks set to be another massive hit for the legendary director.

Despite being in the works since before the novel was even published (Warner Bros. won the film rights on the same day that Cline finalized his publishing deal), fans have had to wait seven years to see any footage of the film, but thanks to San Diego Comic-Con that has now changed!

Sitting in on the Warner Bros. panel at SDCC, Steven Spielberg revealed some details of the films as well as our first look at what the world of Wade Watts — a.k.a Parzival — will look like. Ready, Player One? Take your first look below:

Set in 2044, Ready Player One introduces us to a planet in the midst of an energy crisis, dealing with the fallout from climate change. With the real world now a grim place for parts of society due to a poor economy, much of the population — including teenager Wade Watts — have turned to a virtual world, called the OASIS, to escape their bleak reality.

Inside OASIS people can reinvent themselves however they choose, but the world is more than just a virtual reality, it's also a hunting ground for the ultimate hidden prize. Following the death of OASIS creator, James Halliday, it was revealed that an Easter Egg had been hidden inside the simulated universe and the lucky person to find it would inherit Halliday's fortune and corporation.

During the Warner Bros. panel at SDCC2017, Spielberg talked about the winding road the movie has taken from book to production:

When I read Ernie’s book, it was like the most amazing flash forward and flash back at the same time, to a decade I was very involved in—but also to a future I think is out there waiting for all of us whether we like it or not. The creation of a virtual world took almost two to five years of prep, which will resolve in March of next year.

For fans of Cline's book, no worries. Spielberg also assured fans that the movie will rely on the novel rather than trying to reinvent it for the adaptation:

I read the book and said they’re gonna need a younger director! It’s more than you could ever imagine, Ernie’s imagination, in taking us all where it takes us. As a filmmaker I had no idea how I was going to get us there, but his book was the handbook.

With the Easter Egg still undiscovered five years after Halliday's death, Ready Player One joins Wade Watts — known as "Parzival" inside the OASIS — on his search after he comes across one of the three keys leading to the prize.

Ready Player One hits cinemas on March 30, 2018.