READY PLAYER ONE Script to be Written by Zak Penn

     June 23, 2014


We last reported on screenwriter/novelist Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One almost exactly four years ago when the hot property ignited a bidding war from major studios.  Warner Bros. eventually won that war, and have now hired screenwriter Zak Penn (The Avengers) to rewrite the script for the futuristic tale that follows a virtual game player in his dangerous quest for a deceased billionaire’s fortune.  Cline, himself the screenwriter of the 2009 film Fanboys, took the first crack at adapting Ready Player One along with Eric Eason (A Better Life).  Donald De Line and Dan Farah will produce for WB.  Hit the jump for more.

zak_penn_ready-player-oneAs The Wrap reports, screenwriter Penn will come on board WB’s Ready Player One adaptation in the role of a closer.  He’ll polish the script to the point that it’s ready for producers to shop it to high-profile directors this fall.  As a side note, Penn and Cline have developed an interesting friendship of late, one that led them to unearth Atari’s abandoned E.T. game cartridges.  Weird.  Regardless, Ready Player One has been on my reading list for a very long time, so it’s encouraging to see some movement on its development.

Here’s the official description of the Ready Player One novel, via Amazon:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.


  • axalon

    Been wondering when this movie was going to get made, the lends itself well to adaptation.

  • Jonboy

    I really don’t know how they’re gonna turn this into a movie. There’s just so much content! From all the mecha universes to retro gaming to riding the DeLorean from Back to the Future. It’s like a real life Lego Movie.

    • 80sRobot

      All the various properties that the novel references is a nightmare rights issue, I immediately saw when I read it. Perhaps Penn has been brought on to incorporate properties that are owned by Warner Bros. or which the studio has licensing rights to.

      We’ll unlikely see Back to the Future or Ghostbusters references in a movie (though perhaps a standard DeLorean could appear), Monty Python is definitely out, but Blade Runner could stay in (maybe). Would Atari be on board? (Warner Bros’ parent company once owned Atari back in the first video-game era.)

      From a licensing standpoint, Ready Player One is a fascinating case to sort out.

      • theseeker7

        granted I haven’t read this book, but looking at something like The Lego Movie, I never would’ve thought one production would’ve been able to get all the clearances for THAT kind of movie to get made, but there it was just the same. So I can at least have some hope for something like this.

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