Random House has won a bidding war for Fanboys screenwriter Ernie Cline's debut novel Ready Player One. This ended up being one of the biggest deals ever for a first time young adult fiction writer. Random House paid a $500,000 advance for the North American rights for the unpublished book, and international rights are being shopped.
Of course the film rights to the story go on auction tomorrow, once it does you can bet that it will get picked up by a studio. Hopefully not the Weinstien Company who ended up killing Fanboys.
This sounds like a pretty cool story, and here's the synopsis:
In the near future, outcast teenager Wade Watts escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to the OASIS, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives. When the eccentric billionaire who created the OASIS dies, he offers up his vast fortune as the prize in an elaborate treasure hunt. Along with gamers from around the world, Wade joins the adventure, and quickly finds himself pitted against powerful corporate foes and other ruthless competitors who will do anything, in the oasis or the real world, to reach the treasure first.
Trackingb calls it “WILLY WONKA, THE MATRIX, and AVATAR all rolled into one. I’ve never seen the online virtual world thing been done good on film (and I’m not talking Tron or The Matrix, I’m talking about online virtual communities like World of Warcraft or Second Life), but this premise sounds promising.