If you were born in the '70s or early '80s and consider yourself a film geek, it should be your civic duty to pick up a copy of Ernie Cline's highly entertaining Ready Player One. It's about a billionaire game designer who dies and leaves his fortune to the first person who can solve all his clues and find the easter egg hidden inside his insanely popular Second Life-type virtual reality game. The game designer in question was an eccentric child of the '80s, and so all of the clues relate to growing up in the golden age of arcades and Dungeons & Dragons and movies like WarGames. At first Cline's book reads like a nostalgia-bait overload, but once you fall for his unique maze that winds through the future and past, it becomes an addictive and thrilling sci-fi adventure.
Warner Bros.' optioned Ready Player One for the big screen back in June of 2010, a full year before it was even published. Since then, however, there hasn't been a lot of public movement on the adaptation. That's not entirely surprising, either, considering the WB might not have fully realized how geeky Cline's story was going to end up being. It's not an impossible film to adapt by any stretch, but the story consistently hinges on crucial plot elements tied to intellectual property from the '70s and '80s that WB does not own the rights to. A literal adaptation of the book would be a legal nightmare.
That's not stopping Warner Bros., though. Variety has broken news that the studio is still moving forward on the project and they've just announced the hiring of Eric Eason (A Better Life) to re-write the script. It's unclear what changes he'll actually be making and if removing some of the pop culture elements the WB won't be able to control is his mandate, but either way it's an encouraging sign.
Note: The image above is a piece of "inspirational art" Cline used while writing the book.