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Ready Player One is a still a few weeks away from being released to the masses, but yesterday the Warner Bros flick debuted at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas. Overall, the crowd seemed to enjoy Steven Spielberg's latest movie, but the screening nonetheless filled the director with anxiety, and not just because there was a technical issue during the third half of the movie. Ahead of time, Spielberg was worrying how the crowd would react to one of his most visually-dazzling movies yet. As he said during a Q&A after Ready Player One had finished:
This has been the greatest anxiety attack I've ever had. I made a whole bunch of historical films, which I directed behind-the-camera. I kind of am in control of that. When I decide to make a movie, sitting in the audience with you, I direct in the seat right next to you. And your reaction is everything.
Steven Spielberg makes a good point. Directing a movie, whether or not it's filled with a lot of visual effects, is certainly a difficult job, but even after all the finishes touches have been put it, the director usually has to be around when said movies is first screened for people who weren't involved in the creative process. For Spielberg and Ready Player One, that was at SXSW, and fortunately for him, the reception was mostly positive. Granted, as Variety noted, it wasn't great that the sound went out during one of the movie's most important scenes, but in the end, Spielberg's latest project collected a lot of admirers, which hopefully caused his anxiety to diminish. Of course, now Spielberg will have to wait and see how folks who weren't at the SXSW screening, from critics to regular moviegoers, will react to Ready Player One. Just because the movie played well at the Austin event doesn't guarantee that it will be a hit everywhere else.
Based on the same-named novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One takes place several decades in the future and follows Tye Sheridan's Wade Watts as he searches through the virtual world known as the OASIS for the Easter egg left behind by the late Ogden Morrow, the OASIS creator. Whoever finds that Easter egg will inherit Morrow's fortune and gain control of the OASIS. The Ready Player One cast also includes Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Hannah Jonh-Kamen and Letitia Wright.
Ready Player One hits theaters on March 29, so stay tuned for CinemaBlend's full review. In the meantime, you can learn what other movies are arriving this year by browsing through our 2018 release schedule. As for Steven Spielberg, he is tackling Indiana Jones 5 next, which will be released on July 10, 2020.