Novelist Ernie Cline is set to become the Ernest Hemingway of geek literature and perhaps movies as well. The author’s 2011 novel, Ready Player One, was a bestseller that sparked a Hollywood bidding war and is in development at Warner Bros. Now the author has sold the film rights to his second novel, entitled Armada, to Universal for seven figures. See? Being a geek can pay off.
The Film Stage reports (via Variety) that Universal nabbed the rights to the as-yet-unpublished novel based on a 20-page proposal. While it seems obvious that Cline outlined quite a bit of the plot in that pitch, Universal’s keeping the whole thing under wraps – saying only that it “features a high-concept hook: the ultimate wish fulfillment to every video game fan on the planet.”
Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep anything completely under wraps these days – and THR’s Borys Kit has tweeted that “Armada centers on a group of MMO players who play a game titled Armada that are recruited by a govt agency to use their unique skills, honed by playing the game, to fight a larger threat.” So, basically, Universal just paid seven figures for the rights to remake The Last Starfighter.
Snark aside, we did enjoy Ready Player One and its take on gaming and pop culture, and we’re looking forward to seeing what Cline does with this new premise. RPO was pretty great at gaming wish fulfillment with its persistent virtual reality world hosting a global scavenger hunt where being the best led to not only having your initials on a leaderboard, but unimaginable power and fortune as well. We suspect that Cline’s love of geek culture in all its various forms will result in a novel and film that’s different from the 1984 cult classic, yet appealing to gamers and pop culture fans alike.
Are you more excited for a film version of Ready Player One or Armada at this point? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.