STEVEN Spielberg has warned that a future dominated by virtual reality is coming “whether we like it or not”.

The director was discussing his new movie, Ready Player One, at Comic-Con San Diego.

The film is an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s book that depicts a dystopian world where humans take refuge in virtual reality in a world scarred by the effects of global warming.

Set in 2044, it entwines 1980s culture and futuristic concepts.

On reading the book, Spielberg said: “It was like the most amazing flash forward and flash back at the same time to a decade I was very involved in, the 1980s, but a flash forward to a future that I think is out there awaiting all of us whether we like it or not.”

He described the world it is set in, where fossil fuels are depleted and extreme weather is pummelling the globe, as “so dystopic”.

And virtual reality opens up the possibility of being able to do “anything you can possibly imagine”, he said.

He added that he feared being “vilified for some kind of grand act of grand larceny of vanity” because so many of the moments in Cline’s book focused on his own donations to culture.

Meanwhile elsewhere at the event, Cate Blanchett and Michelle Pfeiffer revealed that they will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in upcoming films.

Pfeiffer will join Ant-Man And The Wasp as will Laurence Fishburne, while Blanchett will play villain Hela in Thor: Ragnarok.

Two-time Oscar winner Blanchett told an audience of 6500 fans at the convention on Saturday that she she got involved through a “happy accident”.

“It’s a universe that I’ve sort of been happily dragged into by my kids,” she said.

Pfeiffer will join Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly in the sequel to their film Ant Man.

She will play Janet van Dyne, the missing wife of Ant Man’s alter ego.