Those familiar with Warner Bros.' Ready Player One already know that the movie leans rather heavily on nostalgia from classic 1980s and 1990s films, but a dozen new parody posters may have taken things too far. Instagram user Jeff Avery noticed a series of posters for Ready Player One where the avatars of the main characters are implemented into posters from beloved films such as The Matrix, Bullitt, The Goonies and many more, with the full high-res versions surfacing later online. While some think it's good, harmless fun, others have taken to Twitter to bash these posters, all of which you can see below.
The full set of posters also include parodies of the classic posters from Risky Business, Labyrinth, The Lost Boys, The Breakfast Club, The Iron Giant (which actually appears in the film itself), Rambo: First Blood Part II, Beetlejuice, Blade Runner and Back to the Future. These posters have taken flack not only for parodying these classic movies, but also because they look like they were rather poorly made. Instead of these posters featuring the actual human characters from Ready Player One, it features their avatars in the OASIS virtual reality world, such as Parzival (Tye Sheridan), Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), Aech (Lena Waithe) and others.
Instagram user Jeff Avery first noticed eight of these posters lined up in a row on a display featured on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, with SlashFilm reporting that there are also digital versions of these posters at the Ready Player One Experience, a touring exhibition that is currently in Miami and will be heading to the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas later this month. With three weeks left until Ready Player One hits theaters, it remains to be seen if Warner Bros. will release even more of these parody posters, but given the social media "outrage", it also wouldn't be surprising if they stop this campaign altogether.
In true internet fashion, it also didn't take long for amateur artists to make their own parodies of these parody posters. Posters mocking Spielberg's own classic Schindler's List have surfaced, along with critically-panned movies like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, The Human Centipede and Nacho Libre. With the Ready Player One Experience getting ready to kick off at SXSW this weekend, it will be interesting to see if there will be even more controversy surrounding these posters, once they're on display at that event. Regardless, there may be several more parodies of these parodies coming on from various Twitter users.
Ready Player One hits theaters on March 29, a rare Thursday release with the movie opening by itself on that day, although it will face Lionsgate's Acrimony and PureFlix's God's Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness on March 30. Steven Spielberg directs from a script by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, adapted from the book of the same name by Ernest Cline. The story centers around a teenager named Wade Watts, who goes by the name Parzival in the virtual reality world known as OASIS. When the OASIS creator dies, an elaborate game has been set up with the winner given control of the massive empire he left behind. Take a look at all of these parody posters below, along with several of the tweets we have collected with strong responses to said posters.