“Detective Pikachu” actor Ryan Reynolds has taken a break from his zany superhero flicks in the wait for “Deadpool 3” as the ink dries on Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox. And though video game movies don’t often turn out well in the critical acclaim department, Reynolds’s new film “Free Guy” is the reversal.

An action-comedy based on an NPC bank teller in an open world video game, “Free Guy” is an expert rendition of satire, especially with Reynolds’s humor alongside supporting cast members, like “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi, “Stranger Things” star Joe Keery, and Jodie Comer from “Killing Eve.”

The movie takes place in a fictional video game world called Free City, wherein all sorts of mayhem and depravity coexist, similar to the highly popular 2013 title “Grand Theft Auto V,” which made more money than any movie in history. Starring as a background character simply named Guy, Reynolds undergoes a sort of transformation after realizing he’s not really a bank teller, but a prop in a game that will shortly go offline.


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A recent Empire magazine spread reveals some bits of information on the film, in addition to an image of Reynolds looking determined while straddling a motorcycle. The movie is helmed by acclaimed director Shawn Levy, who has worked on such titles as “Night at the Museum” and “Stranger Things.” Despite its seemingly comedic-leaning tone, Levy describes how the film fuses humor with commotion:

“It’s a comedy, but we will never leave the emotionality of this movie. It’s big-hearted and poignant, which is equally as important to Ryan and I as the spectacle and the action."

Levy also understands the nature of video game filmography, as his days of birthing an “Uncharted” movie proved too daunting. He relates:

“They [video game films] have proven near-impossible to get right. I myself spent two years working on ‘Uncharted.’ There’s something very scary about trying to do a literal transposing of an experience that audiences can already get in the game.”

Reynolds, who thrives on messing with fans on social media, appeared at New York Comic-Con in early October to promote the film. In an interview with Hollywood.com, he and Levy point out its real-world approach and how it’s designed in a way to capture the sentimentalities of everyday mundanity. To them, it’s clear the film goes far and beyond a mere comedy.

“Free Guy” boots up in cinemas everywhere on July 3, 2020.

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds attends the Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris