Back in 2012, less than a year after the success of Ready Player One’s publication, author Ernest Cline landed both a publishing deal and an adaptation deal for his next novel, Armada. Universal Pictures snapped up the movie rights to Armada, about a flight simulator video game that turns out to be a training tool for a real alien invasion. Now, following the release of the Ready Player One movie, the studio is moving forward on Armada: Deadline reports that Universal has hired screenwriter Dan Mazeau to write a new draft of the script.
Cline wrote an original draft of the screenplay while simultaneously writing the novel and adapting Ready Player One. As was the case with the RPO screenplay, on which Cline shares a writing credit with Zak Penn, Cline will remain involved in the process as Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans, Van Helsing) takes a turn at adapting Armada.
If you haven’t read the novel, which utilizes 1980s Easter eggs and tackles escapism in similar ways to Ready Player One, here’s the synopsis:
Zack Lightman has never much cared for reality. He vastly prefers the countless science-fiction movies, books, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. And too often, he catches himself wishing that some fantastic, impossible, world-altering event could arrive to whisk him off on a grand spacefaring adventure.
So when he sees the flying saucer, he’s sure his years of escapism have finally tipped over into madness.
Especially because the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of his favorite videogame, a flight simulator callled Armada–in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders.
As impossible as it seems, what Zack’s seeing is all too real. And it’s just the first in a blur of revlations that will force him to question everything he thought he knew about Earth’s history, its future, even his own life–and to play the hero for real, with humanity’s life in the balance.
But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking: Doesn’t something about this scenario feel a little bit like…well…fiction?
No word yet on who could direct. Dan Farah (Ready Player One) and Dylan Clark (Planet of the Apes) will produce.
The Cline adaptations don’t end with Armada, either; Deadline shared this nugget:
Cline has another top secret book project that Random House bought after Armada was published, but the details of that have yet to be announced. Farah is producing that adaption and Cline will write the screenplay.