Austin, we have a problem.
The world premiere sneak screening of Steven Spielberg’s new sci-fi epic “Ready Player One” at SXSW on Sunday night stopped not once, but twice, due to technical difficulties.
The new film was more than an hour and a half in when the sound went silent — which the audience initially thought was intentional (perhaps shades of Rian Johnson’s recent “Star Wars” movie?) until the picture froze and audiences moaned that they couldn’t continue to watch the movie that was getting positive responses from the audience thus far.
The film soon resumed — and then stopped again in the exact same spot, prompting outbursts of laughter from lucky filmgoers who managed to snag a ticket to the sneak peek screening of a project based on Ernest Cline’s best-selling novel.
When the picture resumed for a third time and managed to move past the problematic part of the movie, the audience erupted in loud applause and jumped up from their seats.
One fan was overheard saying that this was the best moment of his career in the entertainment industry — and during the Q&A after the screening, star Tye Sheridan commented that perhaps the glitch elevated the film — which was met with strong applause yet again.
And somehow, the impromptu silence fit perfectly to what was happening in the film at that exact time.
When the film concluded and the cast and Spielberg himself came onto the stage, fans got up in a standing ovation and chanted the filmmaker’s name.
The technical snafus prompted an almost immediate online response — including from fans far from Texas who were awaiting first-hand reactions on the eagerly anticipated film.
Others suggested that the throwback nature of the film — which references classic ’80s and ’90s pop culture — might provide the seeds to solving the troubles. “If Ready Player One is so ’80s authentic then the projectionist should take it out and blow into it,” one commenter tweeted.
— William Rowe (@WilliamRowe20) March 12, 2018
— Mab (@MabIsTink) March 12, 2018
when ready player one's premier screener loses its audio and freezes meaning that it only delays the first reactions even further pic.twitter.com/wkmTUvC08Q
— Samantha (@Arielrocks5) March 12, 2018
If Ready Player One is so ‘80s authentic then the projectionist should take it out and blow into it. https://t.co/vuYaRR2CPP
— Andy Khouri (@andykhouri) March 12, 2018