Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One came out this past week. Despite Matt’s review, the movie is doing quite well at the box office, so it’s no surprise that studios are going to be clamoring over all of Ernest Cline’s other hit books. Problem is there is only one other, Armada.
Armada which came out a few years after Ready Player One is what would happen if you took The Last Starfighter, crossed it with Ender’s Game and shoved it full of cultural references like it were a Thanksgiving Turducken. The story follows nerdy high school senior Zack and shows how just maybe all of those video games and science fiction books he consumed growing up weren’t put to waste. The story also borrows some elements from the famous Polybius conspiracy that has circulated around video gaming circles for years.
The movie rights were purchased a mere six months after the release of the book but that was the last news heard about it. Today Universal Studios officially moved forward with production by naming Wrath of the Titans and The Flash writer Dan Mazeau as the screenwriter who will work off of a treatment that Cline wrote himself. No timetable has been given for the release but I would expect this sometime in 2020, don’t want the iron to get too cool.
I say this next part as someone who genuinely loved Ready Player One despite its flaws. Armada is bad. You know how every now and then a not so good writer comes along and writes a novel that is just so in tune with the pulse of the moment that you can overlook moderately bad writing because the story is perfectly aligned with the cultural zeitgeist? Bret Easton Ellis did it with American Psycho, and Armada revealed to me that Cline did it with Ready Player One. It was filled with nothing but cultural references and so little character development that I had to put it down after getting a third of the way through it, and I’m not one to put books down.
In reading reviews of the book, a lot of the reviewers did note that the book had a cinematic feel though so maybe the adaptation will be better than the source, that’s only really happened a few times that I can think of but when it does it’s kinda nice.