Steven Spielberg gets standing ovation as he surprises audience at Ready Player One secret screening

Steven Spielberg surprised fans by premiering his highly anticipated movie Ready Player One at a secret screening at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Texas.

Despite a glitch which caused the sound to cut out half-way through, the film earned a standing ovation from the audience.

Introducing the movie, which is  set in a futuristic video game, the  71-year-old director, pictured below, told those lucky enough to get a ticket that he wanted to make it for “people who don’t play video games, who may have never played a video game”.

He added: “This isn’t a film that you must have gotten into the gaming world in order to really get involved with. So this is not just for gamers but this is also a movie that has so many cultural references.”

Ready Player One - trailer

Ready Player One is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name.

It is set in a dystopian future where the characters spend most of their lives in a virtual-reality system called Oasis. The cast includes Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, TJ Miller, Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance.

It is released in the UK on March 30.