×

Universal sets sail with ‘Armada’

Studio snags feature film rights to Ernie Cline's novel

Just days after scoring a seven-figure deal for domestic and foreign publishing rights, bestselling author Ernie Cline (“Ready Player One”) has sold feature film rights to his next novel, “Armada,” to Universal, which has set the project up with Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films and Dan Farah’s Farah Films banner.

Based on a 20-page proposal, Cline’s reps have already sold North American publishing rights for “Armada” to Crown Publishing, a division of Random House.

Stuber and Farah will produce “Armada,” which features a high-concept hook: the ultimate wish fulfillment to every videogame fan on the planet. Other plot details are being kept under wraps.

Jeff Kirschenbaum and Scott Bernstein will oversee the project for U, while Alexa Faigen will oversee on behalf of Bluegrass Films.

A well-known author and pop culture authority in geek circles, Cline penned “Ready Player One,” which Warner Bros. bought, outbid several other studios for film rights. Warners is currently putting together a movie based on an adaptation by Cline and scribe Eric Eason (“A Better Life”). Book landed on several major best of 2011 lists.

Farah partnered on the high-profile “Armada” project with Stuber, who recently produced Universal’s hit movies “Ted” and “Safe House,” as well as its upcoming releases “47 Ronin” and “Identity Thief.”

Farah is currently developing a remake of “The Crow” at Relativity, “Ready Player One” at Warner Bros., a television series based on Terry Brooks’ bestselling fantasy series “Shannara,” a stage musical based on the Castle Rock comedy “Honeymoon in Vegas” and ABC sitcom “The Guys,” starring Tony Danza. Farah is exec producing “The Guys” with Vince Vaughn.

Farah, Paradigm and Greenberg Glusker negotiated the “Armada” film deal on behalf of Cline, whose publishing deal was negotiated by Farah and book publishing agent Yfat Reiss Gendell of Foundry Literary.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Inside an Inox Leisure multiplex in

    India's Inox Multiplex Chain Reveals Ambitious Growth Plans

    Indian multiplex chain Inox Leisure has revealed ambitious plans to more than double its existing screen capacity of 600. The company is planning to add 900 more screens across the country over the next decade. “That’s the realistic answer, but my desire is to do it over the next five years,” Siddharth Jain, director, Inox [...]

  • Joker

    Why 'Joker' Is About All of Us (Column)

    Take a look at the photo above. It’s the most poetic image to have emerged from Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” and the reason I say “poetic” isn’t just because the shot has that caught-in-action indelible vibe of a quintessential movie poster: graphic, hauntingly composed, a bit shocking (at least, the first time you see it). It’s [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Rules International Box Office With $117 Million

    Though Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” stumbled at the domestic box office, the Angelina Jolie-led sequel enjoyed a far stronger start overseas. The follow-up to 2014’s fantasy adventure inspired by the “Sleeping Beauty” villain took off with $117 million from 56 international markets. In North America, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted with a meager $36 [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Dominates With Soft $36 Million

    Five years after Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” cast a spell over the box office, the villainous enchantress has returned to the top of domestic charts. Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” a sequel to 2014’s fantasy adventure based on the “Sleeping Beauty” sorceress, flew lower than the original and debuted to a disappointing $36 million from 2,790 [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content