Christopher Nolan's space adventure, Interstellar, is currently going strong at the global box office; and late last week, we learned that Warner Bros. has approached the filmmaker to direct another sci-fi project in Ready Player One, a film adaptation of the novel by Ernest Cline. The studio is setting its sights high with this one, as Nolan is now reported to be but one of several A-list helmsmen who've been eyed to call the shots on this feature.
The Ready Player One source material takes place in the year 2044, where the teen protagonist, Wade Watts, escapes the ugliness of his everyday reality by playing a virtual reality game known as OASIS; a virtual world where puzzles are based on pop culture of decades past, and whoever unlocks them will accumulate great wealth and fortune... assuming they aren't killed in the process, that is.
Ready Player One blends several en vogue story elements - a dystopic future and nostalgia for pop culture past among them - and it's easy to see how its Tron-esque virtual reality setting could make for something interesting, placed in the hands of the director of Interstellar and Inception. However, according to AICN, the project's current director shortlist (as in, those who've been approached to direct) also includes Peter Jackson, Edgar Wright, Matthew Vaughn, and WB's supposed "dream pick," Robert Zemeckis.
Zemeckis' work is heavily referenced in Cline's source novel, which is no surprise given his work in decades past; and thus, he's seen as all the more ideal a pick for a film that would combine geeky genre entertainment with social commentary (like many of Zemeckis' most famous movies). The filmmaker has settled into telling more grounded stories of late, with Flight and the upcoming The Walk; that doesn't mean he won't be intrigued by Ready Player One's reality-defying thrills, assuming he likes the script penned by Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk).
As for the other mentioned names: Jackson's schedule is pretty open, following this month's release of his final Middle-earth film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; Vaughn has his new Mark Millar comic book movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service, arriving next year, but hasn't committed to his next directorial effort yet; and Wright has a few scripts of his own making in the works, but is currently being eyed to direct Star Trek 3 (though that doesn't at all guarantee he'll accept the job).
Cline's book is much more light-hearted and full of whiz-bang fun than your average dystopian sci-fi adventure; hence, it could be a perfect match for the sensibilities of such folk as Wright and Vaughn, whose best work blends action and comedy together seamlessly. Similarly, as we've mentioned before, it would be refreshing to see Nolan tackle something a bit on the more comical side; alternatively, Ready Player One could fully bring out Jackson's old zaniness, from his pre-Lord of the Rings career.
Ready Player One would suddenly become one of many film buffs' must-see upcoming titles, should it land a director of the pedigree currently in consideration. It's not yet apparent which - if any - of the filmmakers listed here are interested in the material, but we'll keep you updated on the project's development; in the meantime, feel free and let us know who you would like to see bring this sci-fi adventure to the big screen.
Ready Player One does not currently have a release date.