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Steven Spielberg vs. Carl's Jr. SpielBurgers: A PR stunt?

Commentary: Spielberg's "Ready Player One" debuts Thursday. Can it possibly be that he's hawking "SpielBurgers" to market it? I fear it can.

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Have those hands ever held a Carl's Jr. burger?


Hollywood is enduring some difficult times. How low, though, will it go to hawk a new movie?

Thursday sees the debut of Steven Spielberg's sci-fi movie "Ready Player One," which my colleague Erin Carson described as lacking in a little depth.

I fear the same could be said of fast-food chain Carl's Jr. sudden decision to launch a SpielBurger at this very time.

In a Monday tweet, the burger makers explains it's renaming its no-doubt legendary Charbroiled Sliders. 

It may well be that, as Variety reports, Carl's Jr. has a "promotional partnership" with the movie, but you wouldn't expect Spielberg himself to participate in this low-brow attempt at social media entertainment, would you?

Did I mention Hollywood is enduring some difficult times? Here's Spielberg's tweeted response, in which he actually claims Charbroiled Sliders are "pretty good," but that no, no, Carl's Jr. can't rename them after him.

Ho. Ho. 

Neither Spielberg nor Warner Bros., the studio behind the movie, immediately responded to a request for comment. 

A spokesman for Carl's Jr., however, told me: "As you've seen play out on Twitter, Carl's Jr. has been trying to get the director's attention for more than 24 hours after announcing that the brand would rename their Charbroiled Sliders to be SpielBurgers, and we couldn't be more excited that not only did he actually respond, but he also said that he likes the Sliders!"

I'm not sure everyone will be excited to their maximum at seeing a famed director apparently hawking burgers. 

Carl's Jr. and Warner Bros. have been enjoying playful banter on Twitter, which suggests a considerable level of cahoots.

I'm not sure I'd want to order a SpielBurger, any more than I'd want to order a TarantinoBurger or a ScorseseBurger. 

Although, to be fair, a DelToroBurger at least feels relevant.

I wonder if all this marketing and attempted attention-grabbing will make a difference in the movie's numbers. 

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