Steven Spielberg’s virtual reality epic Ready Player One has landed, primed for geek-culture aficionados to smugly point out references all the way through.
Introduced by Spielberg himself at a secret screening at this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas, the highly anticipated film earned a standing ovation at the credits (even after a few technical difficulties with sound).
Standing ovation for Spielberg after the #ReadyPlayerOne premiere. “That was probably the greatest anxiety attack I’ve ever had,” he said, alluding to the screening’s technical difficulties (truth is, it actually only made the crowd more excited) #SXSW pic.twitter.com/FxYMfk7LZf
— Bryn Elise Sandberg (@brynsandberg) March 12, 2018
Based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 science fiction novel, Ready Player One is set in the year 2045 and follows the adventures of teenager Wade Watts (played by Mud star Tye Sheridan), in search for a particular easter egg in an escapist VR game.
Early Twitter reviews of the film are pretty positive, particularly in regard to the spectacle of it all. Critics noted the marked difference between the book and the film, but applauded the film’s comedy factor and hefty amount of pop culture references.
Here’s what early critics thought of Ready Player One:
READY PLAYER ONE: So so so much movie. Sometimes too much but what I kept thinking over and over again was “my kids are gonna LOVE THIS.” It is joyous and thrilling for the people who it’s designed to joy and thrill.
— Brian Tallerico (@Brian_Tallerico) March 12, 2018
Went into READY PLAYER ONE skeptical as hell. Came out largely as a joyous convert. I have a handful of issues with the structure and characters, but it improves on the book in important ways, the action is riveting, and I really bought the humor. #readyplayerone
— Tasha Robinson (@TashaRobinson) March 12, 2018
So yeah, I LOVED Ready Player One. It’s perhaps the geekiest movie ever made. So so so happy right now!
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) March 12, 2018
#ReadyPlayerOne is classic Steven Spielberg. It’s got the references, the ferocious effects and the great ‘80s soundtrack, sure, but also the charm, the heart, the humor and a fantastic Alan Silvestri score. I loved it & so did this #SXSW crowd. Be excited for it! pic.twitter.com/xwPOGwXDxd
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) March 12, 2018
Director Robert Rodriguez even snuck in for a peek:
You can make up your own mind when Ready Player One hits theaters March 29.