Zak Penn to script Ernest Cline’s video game novel Ready Player One

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

After three years of heated bidding for the rights to adapt the novel, Ernest Cline‘s video game-inspired scifi tale READY PLAYER ONE is finally moving forward at Warner Bros. The Wrap reports that X2 and THE AVENGERS screenwriter Zak Penn has been brought on board to write the final draft on the adaptation. Earlier drafts were written by Cline himself followed by a revision by Eric Eason.

READY PLAYER ONE, if you aren’t a heavy reader, is definitely a book you should check out. It almost reads as if it were designed to be made into a movie and almost feels like a blend of THE HUNGER GAMES and THE MATRIX. Here’s the synopsis of the novel.

In the near future, outcast teenager Wade Watts escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to the OASIS, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives. When the eccentric billionaire who created the OASIS dies, he offers up his vast fortune as the prize in an elaborate treasure hunt. Along with gamers from around the world, Wade joins the adventure, and quickly finds himself pitted against powerful corporate foes and other ruthless competitors who will do anything, in the oasis or the real world, to reach the treasure first.

While you may immediately think READY PLAYER ONE sounds like another Young Adult novel, it is definitely not for kids. I could easily see the film being R-rated or at the very least a bleak PG-13. With the right director on board, the book could be developed into a franchise, but a standalone film would be more than feasible to make.

The fan trailer below should give you an idea of the epic scale READY PLAYER ONE could take, but I always envisioned it as a more claustrophobic movie with a lot of CGI effects to generate the world of OASIS. Warner Bros is always on the lookout for big tentpole films and this could definitely fit the bill.

Source: The Wrap

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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.