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Ready Player One success pushes Ernest Cline's novel Armada toward big screen with Flashpoint writer

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Apr 3, 2018, 8:39 PM EDT (Updated)

With Ready Player One looking like a solid success at the box office, the film adaptation of Ernest Cline's second novel is getting some wind in its sails.

The book is called Armada and screenwriter Dan Mazeau has been recruited to write a screenplay based on the 2015 novel, according to Heat Vision. The film rights and the book itself were actually sold at the same time: following the success of 2011's Ready Player One, which was Cline's debut as a novelist, he sold the book to Random House and the screen option to Universal based on a 20-page proposal.

Armada returns to Cline's favored territory of video game players, only in this case the story's protagonist discovers that the alien invasion game he's playing is being used to train him and others to fight against a real attack by extraterrestrial intruders (a touch of Ender's Game there).

Dan Mazeau's credits include 2012's Wrath of the Titans and, interestingly, the DC film universe's standalone Flash movie -- which Heat Vision says he worked on "when it was titled Flashpoint." Does that mean it's titled something else now that two of the writers of Spider-Man: Homecoming are writing and directing it?

That's a question for later, but for now Mazeau is at work on Armada. No director or cast has been unveiled yet, but it's likely that this will begin to pick up more steam thanks to Ready Player One.

The Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation earned $53 million in its opening North American weekend -- at least $10 million higher than most industry estimates -- and earned a total of $186 million worldwide. That's not Star Wars or Marvel-sized success, but that's enough to put the movie well on its way to profitability.

Cline himself is writing a sequel to Ready Player One, and you can probably expect that one to get snapped right up and put on the fast track toward production about four seconds after the author saves his final draft and sends it off to his publisher.

Have you read Armada? Did you enjoy it and think it will make for a good movie? Which of Cline's novels do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!