Ready Player One, the new science-fiction adventure from filmmaking legend Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Studios, has inspired a lot of fan mockery with the latest part of its aggressive marketing campaign. The film takes place in a virtual-reality world that is plagued with characters from ‘80s and ‘90s pop culture, so it makes a lot of sense that Warner Bros. has tried to play up the nostalgia in its marketing. The studio probably thought it would be really cool to take classic film posters that audiences love, like Blade Runner, Back to the Future and so forth, and give them a Ready Player One makeover. However, the internet thought the exact opposite, concluding that the posters are not cool at all—they’re just plain dumb. Some even took offense to the posters, calling them “hamfisted,” “clumsily executed” and “brazenly cynical.”
Fans and media outlets alike have been ripping the posters to shreds. One outlet posed the question, “Are these Ready Player One posters supposed to be cool or cringeworthy?” Others have taken to Twitter to post hilarious remarks like the ones below.
The good news is that these ridiculous posters have inspired comical, yet awful art-house film poster spoofs showing the ridiculousness of Ready Player One’s marketing attempt. Fans have been mixing Ready Player One with film posters like Kramer vs. Kramer and Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom to create pure atrocities mocking Warner Bros.’ brutal marketing strategy.
The studio took the marketing obviously a little too far, because they didn’t just stop at two poster homages—oh no, they went above and beyond. As you’ll see below, there’s The Goonies, then Bullitt and Risky Business, followed by Labyrinth, The Matrix and The Lost Boys. It only gets worse, though, with Rambo First Blood Part II, Back to the Future, Blade Runner and the most lazy of all, The Iron Giant. It’s almost the exact same poster, so why even do it in the first place, especially when The Iron Giant is a film preaching anti-war and anti-violence? You could even argue Rambo promotes the same message.
The art-house spoofs displayed via Twitter below provide some sort of context to the lack of judgement used when making these poster spinoffs.
Ready Player One opens on March 29.