The photo shows Sheridan as impoverished orphan Wade Watts, who journeys into an expansive virtual reality universe known as OASIS in search of a personal fortune left behind by freshly-deceased eccentric genius James Halliday (Mark Rylance).
Halliday has left a Easter egg hidden in the VR world, igniting a contest that sees users plugging into the digital macrocosm where pop culture's most iconic creations — including King Kong, Harley Quinn and the Joker, and the unmistakable time-traveling car from the Steven Spielberg-produced Back to the Future trilogy — all play a part in the virtual treasure hunt.
The movie, based on author Ernest Cline's novel, is directed by legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg — whose own works helped inspire Ready Player One.
"I could not have written Ready Player One if I didn't grow up on a steady diet of Spielberg movies," Cline said in a featurette released by Warner Bros.
"It would have been a different story, or I might not have written it at all. His work is woven into the fabric of my life. Everybody, I think, who dreams of making movies dreams of getting to work with him. It's a dream come true."
"When I read Ready Player One, it was the most amazing flash-forward and flashback of all time," Spielberg said of the upcoming blockbuster, a mash-up of pop culture icons like the Iron Giant from the beloved animated film and Chucky, the serial killer doll from the Child's Play franchise.
"I was very careful with Ernie collaborating with me every step of the way to be able to find the movie narrative inside this dense forest of Ernie's profound imagination," Spielberg said, calling the author a "visionary."
"I think has seen the future before any of us could have possibly even imagined it."
21-year-old Sheridan, best known now as budding leader-to-be Cyclops in Fox's X-Men franchise, leads a cast that includes Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel), T. J. Miller (Deadpool), Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible — Fallout), Mckenna Grace (Gifted), Letitia Wright (Black Panther) and Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One).
Ready Player One opens March 29.