One April 4th, news broke out that Dam Mazeau, the screenwriter of Wrath of the Titans has been hired to write a screenplay for ‘Armada’. Armada is second novel from Ernest Cline, the first was ‘Ready Player One’. It is not a surprising news; within a week of selling the book rights to Crown, Cline sold the film rights to Universal. It was sold in 2012, three years before the book was even published. But, there is a clear sign that Armada is actually going further. Hiring Mazeau and financial success of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ are the evidence that Armada is moving further. ‘Ready Player One’ was the first Spielberg film to make $300 million since 2011. Ready Player One is popular not only for its financial successes, but also for the fans loving its makers. People with no intention to watch Ready Player One are also aware of it. Such a success is always considered as a blessing to the film studios. Armada is something different from Ready Player One. It is mocking one featuring an obsessive gamer and pop culture fanatic who saves that world with his gaming skills. It is a celebratory novel about the pop culture loved by Cline.
Does this difference mean that Armada can’t be made into an effective film? Not definitely. Mazeau will be working with Cline who has already written an Armada script. Following the Ready Player One, they can improve on the book and the film could perform better than the book.
Here are few things to learn from Ready Player One adaptation
Focus on the actions
Armada is unlike Ready Player One, it does not make culture references integral to the plot. Every sympathetic character is found into quote-slinging, trivia-arguing fan nerd. Cline and Mazeau could limit the spazzy references to Zack and his buddies to make him a distinct character. Cutting down references could clear whether the film is based on cultural awareness or empty nostalgia.
New ground distinguish the story
Armada feels like a slightly re-skinned 1984 movie The Last Starfighter and Ender’s Game, a novel from Scott Card. Armada clearly mentions both works and present itself their “real” fictional story. But obviously there are plot similarities. The concept of “video games actually train people to fight aliens” is not actually shown. Armada adaptation needs to follow the same course as Ready Player One to make the plot more creative and distinctive.
Supportive characters should be made worth knowing
There are some serious problems in Armada regarding supporting characters that exist to support and admire Zack and scold him. Similar problems are found in the Ready Player One film of supporting characters, but efforts are made in it for giving Wade’s allies their own roles in the story. Armada requires the similar efforts for making everyone else’s personality in the story.
Armada must make it out before the Last Starfighter revival project
Last Starfighter of Gary Whitta is also developing a project, and can make it to the screen first. So, it will become even harder for Armada to make a distinctive project. It will be a great competition for climbing the leaderboard.