Ready Player One is set to race to theaters this month, bringing Ernest Cline's vision to the big screen with help from director Steven Spielberg. And Warner Bros. is going full speed ahead on hype for the film, as a number of promotional posters have appeared, with new takes on some classic films from the studio, alongside Universal Pictures.
The posters, which were first spotted on Imgur and IMP Awards, aren't just taking the digital route, either. Several Instagram users have spotted real versions of these posters, which replicate certain films like The Matrix, Beetlejuice and even The Breakfast Club, around Santa Monica. So it appears that Warner Bros. is using them for promotion in real life, along with online.
While these posters pay loving tribute to the 80's, there are some fans that are less than thrilled with the modified takes. But you can see them all for yourself in the next few pages, along with random comments taken from Twitter. Some are good; some are bad; and some poke the best kind of fun.
Ready Player One arrives in theaters on March 29.
First up is a remix of the classic Richard Donner film The Goonies, which is likely to get a nod at some point in the film, since Steven Spielberg was involved with both productions. Rather than the kids hanging off some rocks, we have Parizval and his fellow players holding on for dear life, in a similar formation to the original kids. We're also a big fan of the font that's used with the poster, very much like the original Goonies print.
The weird thing is, I find that brand of 80s Goonies/Spielberg/BTTF nostalgia worship stuff irksome, but I really enjoyed Ready Player One (the novel) and I’m looking forward to Ready Player One (the movie).— Adam Batty (@Rivettian) March 6, 2018
It's unlikely that Steve McQueen will show up in Ready Player One, but considering that Parzival considers himself a racing champ in the game (one of the events is likely to be the highlight of the film), it would make sense to give him a racing homage of sorts, with a DeLorean in the place of McQueen's classic car. This reference may be over a few gamers' heads, mainly because they haven't seen Bullitt yet (but, man, they should – go see it for one of the best chase sequences ever), but it's definitely got style.
There's just no way the kid from READY PLAYER ONE is big into BULLITT, is where I'm getting stuck.
*(I don't remember if it was in the book or not)— Bob Chipman (@the_moviebob) March 6, 2018
The original Tom Cruise 1983 film was all about a kid who found himself growing up in a big way by refusing to play it safe. In a way, Parzival's kind of doing the same thing, playing by his own rules as he attempts to find the magical Easter egg – among other things – in the film. Plus, we get to see the DeLorean again, which is kind of cool, as well as a female cohort sitting on top of it in full Rebecca DeMornay fashion.
Love this Ready Player One version of Risky Business. pic.twitter.com/KB9EIpwQyy— David Gawne (@David__Gawne) March 5, 2018
Of course Labyrinth is going to get mentioned – it's a cult classic from the 80's, featuring Jennifer Connelly pursuing her young charge after he's taken away by the vicious Goblin King (a timeless David Bowie). The Ready Player One poster matches that atmosphere, but replaces all the goblins with characters from the film, and Connelly with the virtual beauty he comes across in the club. Also, the castle looks somewhat different as well – but no matter, as there are some Jim Henson fans that are sure to love this. (Or hate it, depending on who you talk to.)
The main character in Ready Player One poster referencing Labyrinth looks less like David Bowie and more like Squall Leonhart from FF8 pic.twitter.com/xF1uPlT5F8— Shalgrove (@shalgrove) March 6, 2018
Even though The Matrix takes place in the late 90's rather than the 80's, it still remains a cult classic to many, with Parzival and company taking the positions of Keanu Reeves and his allies, complete with leather outfit and similar stances. Plus, we get the rain effect nailed down, and that font effect actually looks pretty good. Besides, this poster could've been much worse – Warner Bros. could've tried to take on The Matrix Reloaded or The Matrix Revolutions instead. Right?
What are you on about? Ready Player One was a celebration of 70s & 80s gaming, movies, and television. I'll give you the matrix one doesn't quite hold true to that, but you can't deny it is in the spirit of the novel.— Chris Gohlke (@ryuail) March 6, 2018
The Lost Boys
Here's another great 80's film that gets a fun little homage from Ready Player One, even though it's not likely to have any vampires in it (unless they're…space vampires?). The Lost Boys is a horror favorite directed by Joel Schumacher and featuring the likes of Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, and the two Coreys – Feldman and Haim – at their best. As you can see, the poster recreation isn't bad, but, man, does Parzival need some sunglasses.
people are pretty cynical about READY PLAYER ONE, but i personally can’t wait to watch junket footage of wide-eyed journalists asking Steven Spielberg about his favorite level from Banjo-Kazooie or whatever the fuck.— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) March 6, 2018
The Breakfast Club
This poster might be the silliest one of the bunch, but no matter – The Breakfast Club is a quintessential favorite from the 80's, and undeniably one of the best films from the late John Hughes. The Ready Player One take features a number of characters joining Parzival, talking about how he only met them virtually, but they still managed to change everything. Now the only question is if we'll hear "Don't You Forget About Me" over the course of the movie.
I think that the only one of these new ready player one posters that actually works is the breakfast club one, mostly because that one feels like an homage and not a rip off— Nerf Guy (@NerfDipshit) March 6, 2018
The Iron Giant
This one is kind of obvious, if only because Brad Bird's large, metallic hero is actually featured in Ready Player One as one of Parzival's allies, stomping around just as effectively as he did back in the late 90's. The Iron Giant remains a timeless classic, and this poster pays loving tribute to it, keeping most of its artwork intact, save for the title and the fact that Parzival is in his hand, instead of a young kid. Now, with that, we highly suggest you go watch The Iron Giant if you haven't already. It's magic.
I hope Ready Player One compels audiences to watch The Iron Giant. It’s an animated classic. pic.twitter.com/OJj3PEAVxj— Butch Hartman (@realhartman) March 6, 2018
Rambo: First Blood Part II
It helps to make Parzival look as heroic as possible, right? So why not compare him to, say, Sly Stallone's unstoppable hero? While he may not be holding a bazooka like Rambo is, the Ready Player One hero looks more than ready for battle as he prepares to fight an online conglomerate to keep the Oasis free. With it, he hopes to "unlock a better reality," even if that means blowing up all enemies in his path. Although, this Twitter user doesn't think its use is timely…
all of the Ready Player One posters are terrible but of all the movie posters one could parody who was the marketing person who thought Rambo imagery was a good idea in 2018 pic.twitter.com/9AVKa9QIs5— Pixie Casey ?♀️ (@pixie_casey) March 6, 2018
This one has a lot of fans torn. On the one hand, the Ready Player One take on Beetlejuice isn't quite the same as the original with Michael Keaton, although Parzival does look pretty interesting in a black and white suit. On the other, it's pretty close to the design of Tim Burton's film, and does have a little bit of kookiness going for it, even without any beheaded characters. (At least the Easter egg makes up for that.) And that temple Parzival is sitting on is pretty cool.
Ready Player One won't have Beetlejuice or Mr Magoo, the only 2 important pop culture icons, so automatically it sucks— Cronenberg Jock (@Tyson_S) July 25, 2017
Here's another poster that might stir up a little controversy with fans, as it decides to take the replicant route and parody the classic Ridley Scott sci-fi film Blade Runner. It's pretty good in tone, even if one of its buildings is replaced by the Statue of Liberty. The charactets look pretty good, and seeing that old-school Blade Runner font again is a pretty good trip. But it's interesting to see a DeLorean in the middle of everything. Boy, did Doc Brown take a wrong turn there…
Even the actual Blade Runner sequel doesn't cannibalize itself (from its marketing to its full 3 hour runtime) as much as Ready Player One does when they decided this lazy garbage poster is clever.— Xzyliac Ariel (@Xzyliac) March 6, 2018
Back To the Future
Last, but certainly not least, considering that we've seen the DeLorean in a number of posters thus far, it would only make sense that Spielberg's own Back To the Future would get a nod, featuring Parzival stepping out of the car to look at his watch while he figures out his next move, while flames surround his feet. This is probably going to be referenced to at some point in the film, and not just with the DeLorean. Heck, maybe Parzival will wear a life jacket at some point, and someone will say, "Dork thinks he's gonna drown!"
I hope Ready Player One is super hamfisted in every reference that they come across. Like "Wow! It's the iron giant from the iron giant! Lets hop into my back to the future delorean with ghostbusters licence plate fitted with kitt from knight rider and go meet him!"— Globgogabgalab (@NotBenWright) March 6, 2018