The worst-kept secret of the festival circuit this year was undoubtedly Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One being the ‘secret screening’ of 2018’s SXSW Film Festival. Unfortunately the screening at the Paramount Theater in Austin, which also served as the world premiere for the sci-fi action flick, was very nearly a complete disaster.
Approximately 100 minutes into the screening, the sound cut out completely, prompting booing and heckling from the crowd. The film was paused, and restarted, where the sound cut out once more. The crowd understandably grew restless, with the screening cutting out both times during one of the climactic moments of the flick. Finally, on the third attempt, Ready Player One roared back into life, garnering cheers from the audience.
Cast members Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Lena Waithe, and Ben Mendelsohn were all present for the troubled premiere.
Following the screening’s conclusion, where the new movie was treated to a standing ovation, Spielberg joked “This is perhaps the greatest anxiety attack I’ve ever had.”
Ready Player One follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) as he competes in a pop-culture scavenger hunt against the rest of the world within the virtual universe known as the OASIS. It’s due for release on the 28th of March in the UK.