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Ready Player One
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2011 Reads > RPO: Ready Player One to become a movie?

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Paulo Limp (paulolimp) | 136 comments Here is the original First Showing article

WB Picks Up Ernie Cline's New Geek Novel 'Ready Player One'
June 18, 2010
Source: AICN, Deadline
by Alex Billington

Another great original concept. Yesterday, writer Ernest "Ernie" Cline sold the rights to his debut novel to Random House for around $500K. A movie deal was sure to follow and it definitely did. Both AICN and Deadline report that Warner Bros won the bidding war that started up yesterday for Cline's new book titled Ready Player One. The book is a cyber thriller that Harry Knowles called "the most awesome 80's geek novel ever written" even though it's set in the future. Green Lantern producer Donald De Line negotiated the sale and will be producing for Warner. Cline will also be writing the first few drafts of the screenplay.

Here's the plot of Ready Player One: A teenager named Wade Watts escapes his bleak surrounds by logging in to the Oasis, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives (sounds like Second Life). When the game's eccentric billionaire creator dies, he offers up his vast fortune as the grand prize in an elaborate treasure hunt. Watts is pitted against powerful corporate foes and ruthless competitors who'll do anything, in the Oasis and real world, to reach the treasure first. It's described as Willy Wonka, The Matrix, and Avatar all rolled into one, which actually sounds kind of awesome. I can't wait to read it!

Although I didn't love Fanboys, I know Cline is a geek through-and-through and can write great material, so I'm looking forward to reading the novel and seeing the movie, however many years it takes to make it to the big screen. Ready Player One sounds like a great original thriller dabbling in the computer world, so I don't think I need to explain why it's right up my alley. We'll keep you updated on status of both book and movie!


Did you know about that? Just yesterday I was thinking what a crazy trailer could be made for this movie (if it ever became a movie) (Kevin Bayer) (SporadicReviews) | 428 comments I read about that too when I was researching the book before reading it.

After reading the book, I'm not sure how I feel about it being a movie. The book was fun, but could it accurately be worked into a movie without it feeling stupid? I know they'd be able to do justice to the CGI... but will it really work as a movie?

message 3: by Ray (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ray | 35 comments I'm thinking no. I think it would translate better as a mini-series. More time to character build and more time to explore the OASIS. The big hurdle seems like it would be getting permission to use all the various intellectual properties referenced in the book.

Paulo Limp (paulolimp) | 136 comments Yeah, I agree. The director of this movie would have to be REALLY good to be able to translate the book general feeling.
It will either translate into a 1h40 movie with a lot of action, but leaving most of the 80's references behind; or into a low-budget movie, focused on the references, designed not for the general audience, but just for the nerds from the 70's and 80's like me.

Neither way would work well, I think.

message 5: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben Marshall (275ben) | 8 comments Just imagine how expensive licencing even 1hr40min worth of all that 80s content would be...

I can't imagine how they'd hit that nostalgic part of my mind with the references either. Part of my enjoyment in the book was reminiscing, but then I went and ruined that by listening to the music, watching the movies and playing the games. Ouch.

Eric (CireDark) | 8 comments As much as I love the book, (and I *REALLY* love the book) I'm really torn about WB handling the rights to it.

This sounds a lot like something Hollywood would totally go for. Instead of creating fresh new IP, this just gives them a reason to dust off all our favorite nostalgic brands and throw them into a giant stew, using Ernies book as an excuse. What really worries me, is that as I'm posting this, I'm sure there are stuffy corporate suits in an office somewhere tearing over countless spreadsheets doing the cost benefit analysis of licensing all these different IPs that they don't already own.
They (Hollywood execs) have been cashing in our nostalgia by means of countless reboots and rereleases for a while now. RP1 must've looked like a golden egg. The trouble with golden eggs, however, is that they're expensive. If you screw up and drop it, you're left with nothing but a worthless mess.

Eric (CireDark) | 8 comments Ray wrote: "I'm thinking no. I think it would translate better as a mini-series. More time to character build and more time to explore the OASIS.

I agree, but again, to do it properly the corporate Hollywood suits might find after crunching all the numbers that, after licensing all the IPs needed and paying all the actors/director/CGI techno-experts, that the cost-to-return ratio isn't worth it to do it the way it deserves to be done.

Eric (CireDark) | 8 comments Here's a question: Which IPs used in the book do you feel would be the most expensive to license?

My speculations, in order:
1. The Enterprise - even though it's mentioned only briefly in the book, Wade does mention all the different verions of it flying around the Oasis. Dropping kids off to and from school and some at the battle for the final gate. I think he even mentioned having one in his personal hangar in his private asteroid. This could be an issue, because CBS/Paramount is very litigeous when it comes to one of their primary cashcows.

2. (And thanks to my wife for bringing it up) ALL THE MUSIC - you have to pay almost every record label and every band for each song. Rush is going walk away with most of that check but then you're paying royalties to all the other different bands and artists and their respective record lables. Also, if they dare use music video footage, Mtv will want their cut.

Speaking of OG's dance party...

3. R2-D2 - Thanks Lucasfilm

On the flip side, licensing all the video game and computer properties might be cheap and some might even fall into public domain at this point.

message 9: by Eve (last edited Oct 04, 2011 07:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eve Davids (EveDavids) | 10 comments I think it will be too expensive to turn this into a movie. I remember think this book is going to be stuck in production hell once I got to like 20% of it on my Kindle. There's just too much going on with OASIS. And except the book turns out to be a mega huge seller, or they find away to really cut out all the licensing and heavy CGI stuff, (which would kill the book's niche in a way) I really dont think this will get made for a very long time.

message 10: by Bryson (new)

Bryson | 2 comments personally I think it would be awesome if some one could figer out how to pull it off it could be the pop culture equivalent to roger rabbit's animated character mash up

Walter (walterwoods) | 144 comments Warning: rambling thoughts from a filmmaker.

It's impossible for me to read a book without working out how it would be best adapted for the screen. This could be an outstanding movie if it's put in the right hands and don't skimp on paying for the rights to use all of the games, movies, and TV shows mentioned. The best match for the humor and pop-culture is almost certainly Edgar Wright, but Ready Player One is probably a little to similar to Scott Pilgrim for him to direct it (Joe Cornish, perhaps?). A narrator would probably be necessary, for which Wil Wheaton would be perfect.

Daniel (dfp127) | 7 comments Heck yeah! This is one of those books that as I was reading it I was thinking this would make a great movie. It is not too deep and there are a lot of good action sequences. For me though, there only needs to be one... ULTRAMAN!

message 13: by Cindi (last edited Dec 30, 2011 11:01PM) (new) - added it

Cindi | 1 comments I feel this book would be hell made into a movie. I feels the same for "House of Leaves" another movie that couldn't and shouldn't be made. Oh ya and the rights would be outrageous to negotiate.

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