Ryan Reynolds has some big things ahead of him. He likely will be back as Deadpool in the near future; in December, he’ll have the Michael Bay-directed action flick 6 Underground coming to Netflix; he’s now a part of the Rock’s Hobbs & Shaw franchise; he’s developing a Clue movie with Jason Bateman; and next summer, he’ll be starring in the action comedy Free Guy.
The movie follows a background video game character—a.k.a the “free guy” of the title—a bank teller played by Reynolds, who comes to realize that he’s in a video game. Once it dawns on him that he’s a non-playable character (NPC) within a game, he takes control of his own life—causing the developers of the game to try and get him back to normal—and tries to stop the world he’s living in from being shut down by those developers.
Reynolds and his castmates were at New York Comic-Con on Thursday night to reveal the first details and footage of the film. Reynolds was joined by Jodi Komer (Killing Eve), Joe Keery (Stranger Things), Thor 4 director Taika Waititi (who starred with Reynolds in Green Lantern years ago), as well as director Shawn Levy and castmates Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Lil Rel Howery.
“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.”
At the panel, the cast and crew spoke about making the film, some of the major plot points, and they also showed off multiple scenes and a teaser trailer for the movie. While those pieces of footage weren’t released to the public yet, Entertainment Weekly, IGN, and Insider detailed what the footage showed and what it could mean for the film.
Here’s everything that was revealed at the Comic-Con panel and what you can expect from the movie:
- The bank in the game where Reynolds’ character works gets robbed a lot: In the game of the movie, which is called Free City, the bank where Guy (Reynolds) works, gets robbed 17 times per day. “Eventually, he realizes that that’s weird and not normal,” said director Shawn Levy at the panel. “So, Free Guy is ultimately about a guy who comes to the realization that he’s a background character inside a video game.”
- Jodie Comer and Joe Keery play video game coders: In one scene shown at the panel, it reveals that Comer and Keery’s characters are a video game developer working on the game Reynolds is in. Something is going on with the code of the game and that’s how Reynolds’ character becomes sentient and starts to realize he’s in an actual video game world.
- The movie will take place in the real world and the world in the video game: While it’s not clear if Reynolds’ character will be outside of the game world at all, the footage revealed that Comer will be in both. In the real world she’s a video game developer, and in the game she has an avatar named Molotov Girl. In another scene from inside the game world, IGN described a moment where Comer’s character is looking through her “inventory” and tucks her gun in her bag and it “disappears” like it does when you’re in a game.
- Taika Waititi plays the villain: Waititi, who starred with Reynolds in Green Lantern in 2011, plays an ego-tistical game developer who has a past with Comer and Keery’s characters. The footage hinted that Waititi’s character has taken advantage of Keery and Comer’s work and may have stolen code they created for the game.
- There will be Easter eggs: The film will also have references to video game-related stuff, as well as an appearance from pro gamer and streamer Ninja.
- Keery is excited to be working with director Shawn Levy again (Levy executive produces and has directed Stranger Things): “Shawn, I feel like all his projects have a sense of heart and a real sense of character,” Keery said at the 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 teaser trailer sounds like a lot of fun: The trailer showed off some footage from the film, showing how Reynolds’ character ‘Guy’ is going about his business as a bank teller. As he gets ready for work, all around him crazy video game stuff is going on, like people with machine guns, explosions, people riding on motorcycles on the sidewalk, and he just keeps living his life. In the bank, he puts on a pair of glasses and he sees what’s really going on around him and that’s when realizes that he’s in the game. The glasses reveal his health, weapons display, like you would see in a video game, and he realizes there’s more to life than what’s going on in his game
Free Guy will be released on July 3, 2020
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