6 Directors Who Can Bring The Magic Of Ready Player One To The Big Screen

posterThose of you who know me well probably know that I don’t read too often. But, a few months back I read a book called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. To say the novel was amazing is a massive understatement. The book is a triumphantly nerdy, pop-culture infused adventure that takes the reader on a ride unlike anything else in I’ve ever been exposed to. It’s an absolutely amazing read. Seriously guys, words can’t express how much I loved this book.

Immediately, being the movie nerd I am, I looked into possible film adaptations and learned that Warner Brothers and screenwriter Zak Penn had already begun work on a script. But, no director and stars are on board yet. So, in case Warner Brothers and Zak Penn need some advice, I present to them, and my lucky readers, a list of six directors (plus a wildcard option) that could help bring my new favorite book to the big screen.

readyIf you’ve already read the book you can skip down to the list now. For those of you who haven’t, here’s a quick synopsis, and then you should go read the book, because it is really good.

“In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.”



Joss Whedon

Where You Know Him From:

The Avengers, Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Why He Should Direct:

stacksJoss Whedon is a nerd icon. You’ll be hard pressed to find a director more universally admired at Comic Con than Whedon. He has stated that Avengers: Age of Ultron will be his last MARVEL movie, so Whedon is in the market for a new project. Why not Ready Player One? Just the thought of Cline’s story combined with trademark Whedon dialogue is tantalizingly exciting.

Whedon is a nerd at heart, so he’ll be right at home with the pop-culture infused subject matter. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Whedon could make one amazing movie adaptation of Ready Player One, the only problem is that he might not want to…

Why It Might Not Happen:

Whedon has stated multiple times that he wants to do something original after his time with MARVEL is up, and though I think he could certainly put his own unique spin on Ready Player One he could be reluctant to put his own original story ideas aside again. But, it wouldn’t surprise me if a story as original and fun as Ready Player One made Whedon change his mind.


Matthew Vaughn

What You Know Him From:

Kick Ass, X Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service (Pictured Above).

Why He Should Direct:

matthew-vaughn-bannerVaughn is quickly rising to the top of my list of favorite working directors. His new film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, was one of the best action movies I’ve seen in a long time. It proved definitively that Vaughn is in the business of making fun movies, which is why he would be the perfect choice for Ready Player One. He’s the type of director who can nail the action set pieces, but can bring the special character moments from the book to life as well. Plus, he has a knack for adapting stories from the page to the screen with spectacular results. Though he doesn’t seem like a particularly nerdy filmmaker, especially compared to the other people on this list, Vaughn’s movies, particularly Kingsman and Kick Ass have a through line of pop culture references. This tendency could help him keep the book’s unapologetic nerdiness intact without alienating the mainstream moviegoer who might not understand all of the references.

Why It Might Not Happen:

Vaughn has already stated that he has received the script for Ready Player One, but hasn’t gotten around to reading it yet. So this could very well happen. BUT Vaughn’s penchant for stylized violence might make him wary of taking on a PG-13 adaptation. Plus, Vaughn has already expressed interest in a possible Kingsman sequel, and I definitely don’t want anything to get in the way of that happening. But, I still think a Vaughn spearheaded Ready Player One movie would be amazing.


Anthony and Joe Russo

Where You Know Them From:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Pictured Above), Community, Arrested Development.

Why They Should Direct:

anthony-russo-joe-russo-sliceAnthony And Joe Russo have been huge players in the TV game for years, before they broke out into the mainstream with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, last year. Their MARVEL sequel blended action with political thriller elements and comedic moments expertly, all while putting the fun of the journey before anything else. Ready Player One has a similar DNA to Winter Soldier to be sure, but the Russo’s time at Community is what I think is key here. Community is one of the few examples of when pop culture references and homages never overpower the characters and the world of the show. No matter what was going on, the show never lost sight of the heart of the moment.

The Russo’s ability to blend genre’s as well as balance multiple references and pop culture influences makes them perfect candidates to jump into the OASIS.

Why It Might Not Happen:

Anthony and Joe Russo are very, very busy in the MARVEL universe right now. They are currently in pre-production on Captain America: Civil War. They are also rumored to be taking over The Avengers for the Infinity War two-parter, which would disappointingly leave no room for outside projects like Ready Player One on their schedule.

wall e bannerAndrew Stanton

Where You Know Him From:

WALL-E (Pictured Above), Finding Nemo, John Carter

Why He Should Direct:

Look, I’ll just come out with it. I love John Carter. It certainly has it’s flaws, but for some reason that movie found a way to entertain me from start to finish. But, John Carter infamously flopped at the box office, and it’s helmer Andrew Stanton, has gone back to animation. But, if Hollywood will give him another live action job, I think he could certainly bring the world of Ready Player One to the big screen.

Taylor KitschStanton’s animated movies, Finding Nemo and WALL-E, are certified classics. In those films, he showed he has extraordinary ability to balance the emotion and humor of a story without forgetting either. His live action effort proved he’s a very good action director who is capable of creating worlds for his movies to exist in.

Ready Player One would be Stanton’s opportunity to combine those two elements into one film, and I think he could make something truly special. Just look at what fellow Pixar alum Brad Bird has been up to post-animation.

Why It Might Not Happen:

As much as I love John Carter, and I really, really like it, it’s hard to see Warner Brothers handing the reins to another risky, expensive, blockbuster over to Stanton. But, I truly think if Stanton gets another shot at live action, he’ll knock it out of the park!


Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Where You Know Them From:

The LEGO Movie, The Jump Street franchise, The Last Man On Earth

Why They Should Direct:

Lord-and-MillerLord And Miller are amazing talents. They bursted on the scene with Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and haven’t stopped churning out hits since. While they’ve stuck to their formula of taking terrible ideas and turning them into gold so far, imagine what they could do with something that is actually good to begin with.

Lord and Miller could make the leap into big budget action filmmaking with Ready Player One. It wouldn’t actually be that big a leap when you think about it. In terms of tone, Ready Player One may not be as tongue in cheek as most of Lord and Miller’s work, but is certainly does have the same amount of pop culture references as they’re used to. If Lord and Miller want to take the next step into blockbuster filmmaking, Ready Player One is a good a movie as any to do it with.

Why It Might Not Happen:

A Ready Player One adaptation might actually be a little too simple for Lod and Miller’s taste. Plus, they might be reluctant to step into less comedic storytelling. But if they do, Ready Player One is the perfect vehicle for their talents.



Edgar Wright

Where You Know Him From:

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Pictured Above), Shaun Of The Dead, The World’s End

Why He Should Direct:

Edgar Wright is the most obvious, and probably the best option available for Ready Player One. Wright is probably the best in the business right now at combining action and comedy. If you want proof, watch this Video Essay by the amazing Tony Zhou:

The world of Ready Player One is seemingly made for Wright to bring to life, it’s unique and quirky enough for Wright to bring his trademark style into it and is bursting with possibilities for visual gags and hidden pop culture easter eggs.

Wright is the perfect choice for this movie, but then again, Wright is the perfect choice for almost every movie.

Why It Might Not Happen:

EdgarEdgar Wright has a couple of original properties on the horizon, and after being burned on Ant Man, you couldn’t blame Wright for being hesitant to jump back into the big budget studio film business. Plus, Wright could be worried about making a second movie with a strong video game presence after Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.


it crowd


Richard Ayoade

Where You Know Him From:

Submarine, The Double, His role as Moss on British TV show: The IT Crowd (Pictured Above).

Why He Should Direct:

Richard AyoadeI’ve been a huge Richard Ayoade fan since I discovered the modern comedy masterpiece that is The IT Crowd. Once I finished the show, I was hungry for more of my favorite nerd Moss. I watched clips of him on every random show you could think of. From him guest hosting British TV Game Shows to having esoteric conversations with Craig Ferguson. While I was doing this I found out that Ayoade is capable of more than telling people to “turn it off and on again.”

Ayoade has been transitioning from being in front of the camera to behind it lately. His two indie directorial efforts (The Double, Submarine) both are very unique, enjoyable movies.  While they might not be for everyone, Ayoade clearly has a gift for creating visuals and tone unlike most things we see on screen. If the studio is looking for a relative newcomer to take the reigns of Ready Player One, Ayoade is someone I certainly hope they’d consider..

Why It Might Not Happen:

Ayoade is still a newcomer in the directing business, and we don’t even know if he wants to break into mainstream filmmaking. His visual tone and voice is something very different than what we see most movies today. The Double, in particular, is visually bleak and dark in a way that could be offputting to some audiences. But, what is clear is that Ayoade is a talented and unique filmmaker that could help being a fascinating interpretation of Ready Player One to the big screen.

I don’t know if Ayoade’s adaptation would be any good, but what I do know is that I really, really want to see what Ayoade would do with it.


One thought on “6 Directors Who Can Bring The Magic Of Ready Player One To The Big Screen

  1. Pingback: A Great Wish-List Of Directors For A Potential READY PLAYER ONE Movie | Reddit Spy

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