Moviegoing audiences will soon have a chance to log into the OASIS for the first time with the release of Steven Spielberg’s , but readers have had several years to live with the story through Ernest Cline’s original novel. In fact, the sci-fi writer is already working on a sequel to the book, and CinemaBlend recently had a chance to ask him how the development of the movie has impacted his approach to the next stage of Wade Watts’ (played by Tye Sheridan in the movie) story. As it turns out, Cline made a specific point to get his story on paper before seeing the film to maintain the original novel’s universe in his head. The writer told us:
I wanted to make sure I had finished at least a rough draft of the sequel before I saw the movie because I didn’t want the movie to influence me too. And I was very conscious of wanting to write a sequel to my novel that would please fans of the novel but also could serve as the basis for a fun movie.
Adapting a reference-filled book into a movie means making certain changes to the material, and is no different in that regard. That said, Ernest Cline’s sequel is still meant to serve as a follow-up to his 2011 book, which means that he has to use the source material as the guide to launching the next phase of his story. Steven Spielberg’s will help fans get into the world and understand everything that they need to know leading up to the next book, but Ernest Cline made sure to get his story down as a way to prevent Spielberg’s work from influencing his writing.
That wasn’t everything that Ernest Cline had to say about his work on the sequel. In fact, the writer continued in his interview with CinemaBlend and talked about how he plans to move away from the contest format for the second book and keep looking to his own life (which significantly mirrors that of Wade Watts) to inform the arc of his characters. Cline continued:
It won’t be about a contest, but it will deal with all of the same characters and kind of the situation. What’s really interesting to me is that kind of what’s happened to Wade in the story in the first movie has happened to me in my real life. By studying and obsessing over pop culture and cinema and the things that I love and celebrating the things that I love I have attained fame and fortune I guess. Getting to work alongside my hero, seeing Parzival in the story meet Ogden Morrow, one of the creators of the OASIS. That’s how I feel. Now I can take what I’ve learned through the experience and hopefully translate it Wade’s experience in the sequel.
will debut in theaters on March 29. You can prepare yourself for the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel by reading our in-depth review of the film, and beyond that, make sure to watch out for all of CinemaBlend’s coverage of it as the release date draws near!