EXCLUSIVE:  Dan Mazeau has been tapped to write a draft of Armada based on Ernest Cline’s New York Times best-selling novel for Universal Pictures.  Cline wrote an earlier draft of the screenplay and will remain in collaboration with Mazeau and producers on the forthcoming draft. Cline is coming off a great weekend for Ready Player One which has grossed north of $186.4M worldwide to date. Ready Player One is enjoying a nice trifecta with No. 1 at the global B.O., and both the New York Times paperback and audio book bestsellers list. Cline co-adapted his book for the screen.

Dan Farah (Ready Player One) and Dylan Clark (Planet of the Apes) are producing through their Farah Films and Dylan Clark Productions banners, respectively.  Scott Stuber executive produces.

Mazeau’s credits include Wrath of the Titans, World’s Most Wanted for Original Film and Vin Diesel, Section 6 for Joe Cornish, Marc Platt, Big Talk and Grey Matter, and Van Helsing for Chris Morgan Productions and Secret Hideout.

EVP of production Jon Mone and VP of production Jay Polidoro will oversee the project on behalf of Universal. EVP Beau Bauman will oversee for Dylan Clark Productions.

Mazeau is represented by CAA, Circle of Confusion, and Lee Rosenbaum at Katz Golden Rosenman, LLP. Cline is repped by CAA and Farah Films & Management.

Universal snapped up the film rights to Armada days after Cline landed a monster North American publishing deal with Crown back in December 2012. Less than year after the publication of Ready Player One, Cline wrote a 20-page proposal for Armada. While Cline wrote his novel Armada for publishers, he also simultaneously wrote the adaption for Universal, and was also adapting Ready Player One at the same time.

Also filled with many Easter Eggs of ’80s and ’90s pop culture, and wish fulfillment like Ready Player OneArmada follows teen Zack Lightman who learns that the space invaders-like videogame he’s been playing for quite some time is actually a recruitment tool for a secret government organization called the Earth Defense Alliance, which has been in a secret war with an alien race for decades. Now that the war has escalated to a threat of invasion of Earth, Zack and the other top gamers are officially recruited and called into action. They must now use their gaming skills to help save the world. Armada has been published in 20 languages in 36 countries.

Cline has another top secret book project that Random House bought after Armada was published, but the details of that have yet to be announced. Farah is producing that adaption and Cline will write the screenplay.