For fans of author Ernest Cline’s ode to geekdom, Ready Player One, the latest news about the novel’s film adaptation might sound too perfect to be true.
Deadline is reporting that Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct the virtual reality tale for Warner Bros., supposedly after completing an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. WB snapped up the rights to Ready Player One, which tells the story of Wade Watts, a pop culture-obsessed treasure hunter who spends most of his time in a virtual world, shortly after the book’s publication in 2011.
Since then, three writers have taken a pass at the script, including Cline, who penned the first draft. The latest version of the script comes from Zak Penn, who reportedly worked closely with the author.
With issues like the script and director seemingly squared away, the big question will now be about rights, since the story pulls heavily from many (copyrighted) ‘80s pop culture touchstones. As two examples, at one point in the story, Wade arrives to a party in the flying DeLorean from Back to the Future Part II and solves a puzzle by recalling every line of dialogue from WarGames.