One of the most entertaining, page-turning books I’ve read in the past few years is Ernie Cline‘s Ready Player One. Before it was even published, Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the video-game influenced story, which plays like a high-tech blend of The Social Network, Willy Wonka, and Ender’s Game.
That was 2010 and since then, the only update was about a script rewrite in 2012. Two and a half years later, one more writer is coming onboard. His name is Zak Penn, better known as the original writer of The Avengers and X2. His job is to shape up the script so Warner Bros. can sign a director this fall. Read the latest on the Ready Player One movie below. Read More »
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One of our favorite blockbuster superstar actor is returning to his roots on TV; a popular author is about to Geek Out; and the Coen Brothers go back to Fargo. Here’s what’s in this edition of TV Bits:
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt is bringing HitRECord to TV.
- AMC orders Geek Out pilot starring Fanboys writer Ernie Cline.
- Actress Sophie Lowe has been cast in the Once Upon a Time spinoff titled Once: Wonderland.
- Another popular show, Pretty Little Liars, gets a spinoff called Ravenswood.
- The classic Coen Brothers’ film Fargo will inspire a 10 episode series on FX in Spring 2014.
- The Amazon series Zombieland gets a cool promo image.
- Another Amazon series, called Betas, has been revealed.
- CBS renewed 14 of their shows for next season.
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Update: Today Variety reports that Universal has picked up rights to Armada, and is developing a film with Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films (Ted, Safe House) and Dan Farah’s Farah Films. The Hollywood Reporter then offers the following, Last Starfighter-esque details on the plot: “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.” The rest of the original text follows after the break.
Often there’s an entertainment story that doesn’t have an express movie angle, but we feel our readers should take notice anyway. This is one of those stories. In the movie world, most people know the name Ernie Cline because he wrote and conceived Fanboys, Kyle Newman’s tale of a group of friends breaking into Skywalker Ranch to see Star Wars Episode I. While the film isn’t particularly well-regarded (it surely has its fans but went through Hollywood hell) I’d be lying if I said that premise didn’t please my geeky desires.
Cline followed that idea with an even bigger and better one. That was Ready Player One, a futuristic tale stuffing social networks, the ’80s, video games, music and movies into an action-packed story about the race for the world’s biggest fortune. If you love the things we write about on this site, the book was written for you. Warner Bros. owns the movie rights and the project is still in development.
None of that is what this story is about. That’s all preamble to give context to the following info. Ernie Cline has been given a seven-figure advance for his next book, Armada. Story details are still secret but Variety says the story has “a high-concept hook that offers the ultimate wish fulfillment to every video game fan on the planet.”
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Briefly: The video game-inspired All You Need is Kill isn’t the only game-related project Warner Bros. has going. In 2010 the studio picked up rights to Ernie Cline‘s much-loved book Ready Player One, a story about a sort of treasure hunt that takes place in a fully-realized online virtual community.
Ernie Cline originally scripted the feature version of the book (he also wrote the movie Fanboys) but now Variety says that WB is moving forward with the project by hiring Eric Eason to rewrite. Eason also wrote Manito, Journey to the End of the Night, and the recent film A Better Life. (He directed the first two of those films, as well.)
Hit the break for the synopsis of Ready Player One. Read More »
Update: As expected, the book sparked a bidding war between four Hollywood studios and Warner Bros. Pictures and De Line Pictures ended up winning the rights. Cline will write the screenplay adaptation of his novel, to be produced by Donald De Line (Green Lantern) and Dan Farah. [deadline]
In one of the largest deals ever for a first time young adult fiction writer, Random House has won a bidding war for Fanboys/Thundercade screenwriter Ernie Cline‘s debut novel Ready Player One. RH paid an almost record mid to high-six figures for the North American rights for the unpublished book, and international rights are being shopped. The movie rights will go on auction tomorrow morning, and many expect a feature film acquisition will happen by Monday at very latest.
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Fanboys creator and co-screenwriter Ernie Cline has confirmed my report from last month that director Kyle Newman has been brought back to recut Fanboys.
“I’ve just received word that the director Kyle Newman has just completed a new cut of the movie with the original plot intact, and that it’s the version that will be released later this year,” Cline told UGO. “We’re hoping that the Weinstein Co. announces the release date soon.”
So there you have it. I’m guessing they will have something to announce at Comic-Con next month.
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