“Ready Player One”, the pop-culture-laden near-future adventure extravaganza adaptation of the young-adult book by Ernest Cline, and directed by none other than Steven Spielberg himself, is due to premiere this Thursday. A lot of Spielberg fans and prospective movie-watchers who grew up as far back as the 80s and 90s are definitely excited at watching this film and treating all the licensed-property cameos showing up there like a game of “Where’s Waldo”. And some companies like burger chain Carl’s Jr. are getting into the hype by making Spielberg-themed menu items. The problem: Spielberg was not informed. He is not pleased.
CNN reports that Carl’s Jr. received a big slap to their temporary marketing gimmick of renaming their “Char-broiled Slider” mini-burgers into “Spielburgers”, direct from the man himself on his Twitter page. Steven Spielberg posted a video talking about how he knew of Carl’s Jr. and their foray into promoting his latest film “Ready Player One”. The legendary filmmaker even noted that he thinks their Sliders are “pretty good”, but ultimately he does not want them to go through with it.
“Cease and desist,” Spielberg rattles off the command at the end of his video tweet. “Can’t do it. Sorry guys.”
Carl’s Jr. had started the Spielburger initiative earlier this week, and in their own tweet announcing the promo, they plainly admitted that the “Ready Player One” director did not give them their blessing for renaming the Char-broiled Sliders for the duration. They simply assumed he would “be cool” with it. Warner Bros., the production company behind the movie, already tweeted their opposition on Monday, stating that while they appreciate the love for the upcoming film, they too do not approve.
A Carl’s Jr. spokesperson has initially tried to defuse the heavy ruling from Warner Bros. by claiming that the Spielburger renaming was merely a social media stunt designed to attract Spielberg’s notice, and that they have not been made an official item at any Carl’s Jr. restaurants. They did however send a company representative to the March 11 red-carpet premiere by Warner Bros. and Amblin Entertainment at the 2018 South By Southwest Film Festival in Los Angeles. This was long before the burger chain first broke the Spielburger thing via online video last Sunday, March 25.
Analysts have dismissed this little tiff as being set up between Carl’s Jr., Warner and Spielberg/Amblin, by noting that all their Twitter posts were not paid content as is the norm for corporate tweets.
“Ready Player One” stars Tye Sheridan from “X-Men: Apocalypse” and Olivia Cooke. It hits cinemas in general this March 29.
Photo courtesy of independent.ie