Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” will have its world premiere at South by Southwest on Sunday night.
The Warner Bros. release was widely speculated to be this year’s “secret secret” at the Austin film festival, which made an official announcement about it in an email over the weekend.
“We are thrilled to be premiering Ready Player One at SXSW,” said Janet Pierson, director of film at SXSW in an email statement. “The film brings to the screen a story that has captivated millions of readers around the globe, written by Austin’s very own Ernest Cline. And in the hands of Steven Spielberg—inarguably one of our greatest directors—we know the film is going to be a special cinematic event for our attendees.”
“Ready Player One” is based on a 2011 novel by Cline that is set in a dystopian future, where the characters spend most of their lives on a virtual-reality system named OASIS.
The cast includes Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T. J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance.
In recent years, SXSW has continued to lure big studio projects, as a way to build buzz before opening in theaters. In 2015, the festival’s secret screening was “Furious 7.” Last year, SXSW launched “Baby Driver” and “Atomic Blonde.”
“Ready Player One” opens in theaters on March 29.