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Sci-Fi Story Ready Player One Sets Off

Young adult novel set up at Warners

The screenwriter of Fanboys, Ernie Cline, has recently written a sci-fi novel for young adults (aka "teens") called Ready Player One - and no sooner had the book been picked up by Random House than Warner Bros landed the film rights in a bidding war.

The story follows Wade Watts, a near-future teenager who escapes his own bleak world by escaping into a virtual world called Oasis. When the billionaire creator of this world dies, he hides the ownership of the entire virtual world somewhere online, and players can start a treasure hunt to gain control of the whole thing. Wade's hoping to be the one to find it - but he soon discovers that he's up against corporate enemies who may well use real-world as well as virtual tactics to stop him.

We're told that it's "Willy Wonka, The Matrix, and Avatar all rolled into one", so obviously unless it does $3bn worldwide that'll mean it's an underperformer. Still, the synopsis is decent, and Fanboys is funny and likeable, so we're cautiously optimistic about this - assuming it makes its way through development hell and one day reaches the screen.