Ryan Reynolds might be one of the busiest stars in Hollywood with no less than ten new movies in various stages of development, but first out of the gate will be blockbuster action comedy Free Guy, which is set to hit theaters in December after being pushed back from the original July date as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Director Shawn Levy’s track record behind the camera doesn’t inspire much in the way of confidence, but based on what we’ve seen so far, the family film looks set to make perfect use of Reynolds’ established screen persona and comic timing, not to mention the fact that it boasts the kind of killer high concept that you don’t really see coming out of the studio system anymore.
Free Guy follows the title character as he discovers that he’s nothing more than an NPC in a massively popular online video game, and growing bored with his daily routine he decides to try and be the hero for once. If Levy can avoid hammering home the message of ‘you can be whatever you want to be’ too heavily and the script is smart enough to maximize the potential of the concept, then we could be looking at one of the biggest box office hits of the year. If the theatrical industry is up and running at full speed by then, of course.
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In a recent interview, co-star Joe Keery offered up some new details on Free Guy, and the Stranger Things breakout even compared it two all-time greats that deal with big ideas of questioning and actively altering your reality, as well as one of Steven Spielberg’s most recent efforts.
“That was one of the things that when friends would ask me what the movie was about, I would say, ‘Yeah, it’s Truman Show meets maybe a little Back to The Future in there, maybe a little Ready Player One in there’. Yeah, it was a real blessing working with Ryan, though. He’s, like, the nicest dude I’ve ever met in my entire life.”
Those are some lofty comparisons to make, but if Free Guy can even come close to matching the mix of entertainment and originality found in The Truman Show or Back to the Future, then audiences could be in store for something pretty special.