When Epic announced plans to show a full Christoper Nolan film on Fortnite's in-game cinema screens, I guessed it was probably Inception or maybe Batman. Turns out, it's both - or even The Prestige instead. Interestingly/frustratingly, the film that'll be screened free on Friday varies by country due to rights issues and local laws. So the UK gets The Prestige, the USA gets Inception, France gets Batman Begins, and so on. But if you want to watch The Prestige while people dressed as Batman and megastreamer "Ninja" floss on you, it's time to get the popcorn in.
For us here in the UK, The Prestige will be shown in the Party Royale island's cinema at 5pm on Friday the 26th. A tale of 19th century wizards and romance starring Christian Bale and David Bowie, The Prestige is Christopher Nolan's 2006 remake of the 2006 film The Illusionist. Batman Begins is Nolan's 2005 precursor to Suicide Squad, while Inception is his 2010 sci-fi thriller about Leonardo diCaprio getting stuck inside a screensaver.
To see which film will be shown for you and when, hit the Party Royale schedule. Many countries get no film at all.
"Navigating distribution rights for different countries and languages for full movies is challenging," Epic explained. "As part of this first test, we wanted as many people to experience Movie Nite as possible. The film you'll be able to watch will depend on your country, and unfortunately we couldn't reach everyone with these screenings. We believe the idea of getting together with your friends and family at Party Royale to watch a movie is powerful and exciting, and we're looking at ways to increase global participation in the future."
So Movie Nite is likely to be a whole thing, huh? I had thought Epic might turn the film into spectacular shows like the Travis Scott musical extravaganza, with the world folding up and such, but maybe not if there are three different films on the docket.
Just don't record it, Epic say. That would be naughty. Presumably they'll be sending underpaid teenagers round with flashlights to peer through windows and make sure no one is recording or pashing too hard.
Fortnite's cinema is a rowdy place, mind. Don't expect to sit in quiet reverence murmuring "Mm, the cinematography, sublime and oh, look at that top spin, dare we..." to the person next to you. You will be bumped by quadbikes, flossed on, high-fived by catmen, and find people jumping and dancing all over, as I saw when I watched the trailer for Nolan's next film in Fortnite in May. Party Royale is a social space to hang out and lark about which now happens to have movies, not a cinema which happens to have a jump button. Which is good.