by: Donna Whitehead
Warner Bros. has made an offer to Christopher Nolan to direct their sci-fi adventure film READY PLAYER ONE. Adapted by Zak Penn from the novel by Ernest Cline (with previous drafts by Cline and Eric Eason), the 20-minutes-into-the-future film follows a teenage boy who enters into an elaborate treasure hunt to win the fortune that was left behind in the will of the creator of his favorite virtual reality game, Oasis. He finds himself up against powerful corporations and competitors who will stop at nothing to get the inheritance. Donald De Line is producing through his De Line Pictures, alongside Dan Farah.
Ready Player One made a big splash when it first hit the market in 2010; days after the novel sold to Random House for a high six-figure sum, WB made a mid six- against high six-figure deal for the film rights, beating out Fox and Paramount in a heated bidding war. The novel was published in 2011, and was received very well. It was a New York Times bestseller, and it got good reviews from just about everyone who reviews books. (For those to whom this kind of thing means something, John Scalzi described it as a “nerdgasm.”)
Nolan just came off of Interstellar, of course, which was heavy on trippy visuals. But if Ready Player One makes me think of any Nolan film, it’s Inception, with its layers of virtual reality and race-against-an-opponent plotting (even if the opponent was, in that case, a figment of the main character’s imagination). Ready Player One apparently has a more pop-culture vibe than Inception; it’s heavy on 80s references, which last I checked was not typical of Nolan’s corpus. But given that Inception was one of Nolan’s two best recent films (the other being, of course, The Dark Knight), it seems like he could do something really cool with Ready Player One.
Nolan is repped by WME.