This also marks Jodie Comer's first big Hollywood movie after Killing Eve success.
In case you haven’t had enough of Ryan Reynolds — I mean, who has had enough of Ryan Reynolds? — we got a slew of new details on, and the first footage from, his upcoming film Free Guy amid all the New York Comic Con festivities this week.
Reynolds bounces from a cameo role in Hobbs & Shaw to Michael Bay’s Netflix movie 6 Underground and now to this film from director Shawn Levy, who most recently produced Stranger Things, and directed a handful of episodes, for Netflix.
As Guy, Reynolds plays a bank teller who lately has become acutely aware that his life is so damn dull and repetitive. Then he realizes his life isn’t really his life at all. He’s actually a character inside a videogame. And not even a hero — he’s an NPC (a.k.a. non-playable character, a.k.a. background figure). Thus begins the wild chase that ensues when the game’s developers try to get him back in line, while Guy fights to save the game from being shut down. It’s The Truman Show meets Wreck-It Ralph meets The Sims.
“I haven’t been this fully immersed and engaged in something since Deadpool,” Reynolds said at NYCC’s Fox panel. “I think we live in really weird times right now, you’re watching the news and the top story today is ‘it’s the end of the world.’ I felt a kinship to the character in that you can sometimes feel like a background character. The world is on loop and you have no control over what’s happening.”
If that weren’t enough, Free Guy marks the first big Hollywood movie for Jodie Comer, the actress who finally won an Emmy for her performance as Villanelle in BBC’s Killing Eve. Then there’s the Green Lantern reunion between Reynolds and Taika Waititi, who also has a role in the movie. (The video above features Reynolds and Waititi poking fun at that DC film’s, shall we say, underwhelming reception.)
The film’s main cast is rounded out by Joe Keery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Lil Rel Howery.
“Shawn, I feel like all his projects have a sense of heart and a real sense of character,” Keery, who has worked with the director on Stranger Things, said at the NYCC panel. “He instilled the same thing in this movie, it has the background of the video game but at the end of the day it’s really a character piece and for all of us as actors, that’s the best thing to work on. That’s all you can ask for out of a piece.”
The film will also feature plenty of inside jokes and Easter eggs for gamers, including an appearance by YouTube gamer and streamer Ninja, who was recently introduced to a whole new audience via an unmasking on The Masked Singer.
The footage, screened exclusively for the panel, showcased both the film’s video game world and the world outside the game. The first clip screened features Molotov (Comer’s character’s in-game avatar) at a stash house, explaining to Reynolds’ Guy how to advance in the game through violence. Guy, however, won’t have it.
“I’d never hurt innocent people. I just don’t believe in those things,” Guy says. “Stealing and killing people, that’s just not me.”
“That is kind of refreshing,” Molotov replies. The clip ends with her telling Guy, “You could be the good guy.”
“No, I could be the great guy,” he says.
The second clip, set in the real world, features Keery and Comer as coders realizing that Guy has evolved and gained artificial intelligence. Mollie (Comer) is angry because she let Guy kiss her. “The first time I kiss a non-toxic guy, of course he’s not even real,” she says.
“There’s not a button for that,” says Keery’s character. “Oh, he found the button,” Mollie replies.
The studio also unveiled the first poster for the film, which features Reynolds as Guy doing his utmost to look heroic.
Free Guy, one of the first Fox-developed films to go into production following the Disney merger, is set to hit theaters July 3, 2020.