Ernest Cline's arcade nostalgia party Ready Player One is a fun, enjoyable read, but something of a slight one. I had a great time reading it, and yet it hasn't really stayed with me as books so often do. So the constantly changing reports regarding the upcoming adaptation's director haven't really riveted me - until today's announcement, which officially has my interest.
Steven Spielberg is set to direct Ready Player One after The BFG.
Now, like many busy, highly coveted directors, Spielberg is often attached to projects that go on to be directed by someone else, so this could all fall apart like so much '80s ephemera. But if he does direct the film, there's no one better. Spielberg is the master of taking slight stories based solely in nostalgia and making them substantial. Ready Player One already has an enormous audience, but Spielberg's involvement grows that audience immeasurably. This property is big, but it's about to be huge.
The announcement also marks Spielberg's return to Warner Bros for the first time since A.I.:
“We are thrilled to welcome Steven back to Warner Bros,” said Greg Silverman, the studio’s President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production. “We had an historic series of collaborations in the 1980s and 1990s and have wanted to bring him back for years."
If you haven't read Ready Player One, now's a good time. It's a quick, one-sitting kind of read that you'll probably enjoy and then sort of forget, like me. Here's the summary, which feels as new to me as it is to you:
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.