Ryan Reynolds’ ‘powerful friends’ responsible for ‘Free Guy’ Easter Eggs

Free Guy
Image via 20th Century Studios

Video game-inspired action comedy Free Guy entered development and then production as a 20th Century Fox movie, but after being delayed repeatedly as a result of the pandemic, it finally landed in theaters last summer as a Disney-backed blockbuster.

Holding firm to an exclusive big screen release, Shawn Levy’s winning adventure earned a solid $331 million at the box office to go down as the biggest hit of 2021 based on a completely original idea, and the second top-earning fresh concept since 2019 behind only Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

Naturally, star and producer Ryan Reynolds revealed Disney had contacted him about a sequel shortly afterwards, and we can presumably expect the next chapter in the Free Guy story to lean even more heavily into the Mouse House back catalogue for inspiration and Easter Eggs.

Chris Evans’ surprise cameo, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Avengers theme music, the signature Star Wars motif, and a lightsaber all cropped up during the climactic third act sequence, with VFX supervisor Swen Gillberg revealing via ComicBook that Reynolds and Levy’s powerful connections made it happen.

“Getting permission to use those is super, super hard and usually impossible. And that was all Shawn and Ryan texting all of their super powerful friends. So that was amazing to watch happen because getting permission to use light sabers and Hulk fists and Captain America shields, that’s very, very rare and privilege. And that’s really a tribute to the connections and relationships that Shawn and Ryan have.”

As one of the most popular and highest-paid stars in the industry, one who runs an entire business empire during his downtime, it’s no surprise that all Reynolds had to do was make a few calls to get Free Guy the approval it needed to reference two of the industry’s premiere properties.