A river of words flowed between us.
In June 2010, the same day Cline finalized his publishing deal with Random House, the film rights to this film were purchased by Warner Bros. Donald De Line signed on to produce with Cline adapting his own novel into a screenplay (Eric Eason and Zak Penn assisted Cline with rewrites), and in March 2015 Steven Spielberg signed on to direct.
In September 2015, the first cast member, Olivia Cooke, was announced to be joining as Art3mis. January 9 2016, the second cast member, Ben Mendelsohn, was announced to be joining as Nolan Sorrento, February 24 2016, the third cast member, Tye Sheridan, was announced to be joining as Wade Owen Watts. March 17 2016, the fourth cast member, Bill Murray, was announced to be joining as Ogden Morrow. April 13 2016, the fifth cast member, Mark Rylance, was announced to be joining as James Donovan Halliday. June 1 2016, the sixth cast member, T.J Miller, was announced to be joining as iR0-k. June 5 2016, the seventh cast member, Win Morisaki was announced to be joining as Toshiro Yoshiaki. July 29 2016, the eight cast members, Philip Zhao was announced to be joining as Akihide Karatsu.
Production was slated to begin July 2016. Screenwriter Zak Penn tweeted on July 1 2016 that the first week of filming was completed. Filming took place early September 2016 in the Jewellery Quarter and Digbeth areas of Birmingham, England with the setting in grungy dystopian Ohio.