FREE GUY: 10 Biggest Takeaways From The Recent Ryan Reynolds-Led Press Conference

FREE GUY: 10 Biggest Takeaways From The Recent Ryan Reynolds-Led Press Conference

Ahead of yesterday's new trailer, we were able to join the Free Guy press conference and hear first-hand from Shawn Levy, Ryan Reynolds & the entire cast on what to expect from the upcoming action comedy.

Ahead of yesterday's brand new trailer, we were granted an opportunity to sit in on the global Free Guy press conference and watch along as director Shawn Levy and stars Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer (Killing Eve; Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Joe Keery (Stranger Things; Molly's Game), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out; Uncle Drew), and Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project; Brockmire) introduced the upcoming action comedy.

The film is currently on track to open this December, a date it still seems likely to keep, so they steered clear of mentioning any potential alternatives, including whether it may release digitally earlier than anticipated - although it's hard to imagine those options haven't already been discussed.  

The plot centers around Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a non-playable background character working as a bank teller in a popular open world video game, who, thanks to a code developed by rogue programmers Milly (Jodie Comer) and Keys (Joe Keery), becomes self-aware and takes it upon himself to level-up as the hero of the story and save his world from being shut down forever.

Here are our ten biggest takeaways from the press conference:

1. Ryan Reynolds Says It's The Best Movie He's Ever Done

  • While he's undoubtedly best known for his work on the Deadpool films, Reynolds says Free Guy was the best movie making experience he's ever had, and he believes it's also the best movie he's ever done due to how pertinent it is to our current times. His co-stars also played a big part in making this his favorite movie to work on.

2. There's A Lot of Heart

  • The trailer makes it quite clear that this won't be your average sci-fi actioner as it blends together a variety of different genres, including comedy and romance, to create a wholly unique and totally enjoyable experience for audiences everywhere. It sounds like the film's biggest drawing point will be the sheer amount of heart infused into every frame. 
  • Joe Keery best describes the film as, "It's kind of like if the Truman Show and, like, Ready Player One had a baby and was raised by someone who loved Back to the Future a bunch."

3. Taika Waititi Steals The Show

  • After stealing scenes in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame over the past few years, it looks like always hilarious Taika Waititi will be back to his old tricks here, with his co-star Utkarsh Ambudkar calling him "a mad scientist" and saying "There could be an entire movie just on Taika outtakes."
  • Director Shawn Levy is actually already in the midst of "editing the longest bonus featurette in the history of cinema," which he jokingly claims will only feature alternative Taika takes, with all of his different "improvisations, riffs, and nineteen versions for every joke."

4. Unique Romance Between Guy & Milly 

  • As revealed in yesterday's trailer, the film will feature a very unique romance between Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and Milly (Jodie Comer), which, of course, begins after a misunderstanding when Milly's avatar Molotov Girl comes across Guy in the game and assumes he's a real person.
  • With the game on the verge of being shut down when the film picks up, the two will find themselves needing each other's help to save Free City, and on this journey they'll bring out a sense of self-realization in one another. 

5. Lots of Room for Improv 

  • With a talented cast that boasts the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lil Rel Howery, and Taika Waititi, it should come as no surprise that director Shawn Levy left plenty of room for his stars to improvise comedic moments throughout the film.
  • As mentioned above, it seems likely we'll get to see a good chunk of these multiple different takes on the bonus featurette Levy is currently preparing for the film's eventual Blu-ray release.

6. Guy & Buddy Friendship Will Drive The Movie

  • Along with the romance between Guy and Milly, there will also be a key friendship between Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and Buddy (Lil Rel Howery) that will drive the story as they must come together to lead their fellow NPCs into saving this world from total annihilation. 
  • Everyone also had extremely kind words to say about Howery, who co-star Utkarsh Ambudkar describes as a "nuclear reactor of love."

7. Real-World Parallels

  • Considering all that's going on in the world and the increasing popularity of being able to escape into these massive virtual gaming worlds, the film does tap into this parallel of people feeling stuck in a loop, now moreso than ever, and often feeling as if they're a background character in someone else's story. 
  • Levy hopes, that people will relate to this film and maybe gain some insight from the film's central idea, which is to "Stop living in the background, or start to notice the person in the background. Empathize with the person in the background. That's a big part of the themes that play in this movie, and while they're called NPCs, non-player characters and it's set in a video game, the movie is really not about video games as much as it is about being a person in the world and how you choose to live and hopefully the warmth and the humanism, um, and the belief in people and empathy and connection that I mean, look, for anyone who's looking for a dark nihilistic, cynical kind of the movie, Free Guy ain't for you."

8. Ryan Reynolds' Increasing Comfort Level With His Self-Deprecating Marketing

  • Following the two Deadpool films, Ryan Reynolds has become well-known for his unique brand of comedy, which involves a lot of self-deprecating references to his nearly thirty-year career and Reynolds explains that when he started doing it, he just saw an interesting white space in the marketing world that he felt should be explored as the majority of people would rarely shine a light on their failures. 
  • He explains, "I think it's more about just laughing at myself, not laughing at other people, necessarily, that are involved in a project. But laughing at myself and my own contribution to that failure or whatever you want to- however you want to characterize it. So, um, you know, it's, uh, it was just something that I thought was, you know, worth examining, you know? And in-in examining it, you take that energy that is, you know, typically, you know, maybe it's hurtful or maybe it's something that's dragging you down, and you end up sort of creating a sort of mental Judo with it. You're using its energy against it and creating something positive out of it."

9. Lots of Easter Eggs, Including Cameos From the Gaming Community

  • Like Ready Player One, the film will contain a ton of Easter Eggs for gamers and there will even be a few wonderful cameos from members of te gaming community, including professional gamers LazarBeam and Ninja.
  • With Free Guy and Deadpool both Fox titles that moved under the Disney umbrella post-merger, it's fair to wonder whether Reynolds' fan-favorite Merc with a Mouth may make an appearance at some point as Reynolds teases, "there's little presents around every corner."

10. People Take Their Power Back

  • Ryan Reynolds best explains: "It really speaks to authorship and how important authorship is, not just if whatever, setting up your own creations, but authorship of your own life and really saying, hey, like, I can personally make things change and the more people that do that as a collective, the more things change. I think that's really what this movie is about. It's about people taking some of their power back and stepping into their light and growing and making the world a better place. Not just in a world that's embracing not only equality, but equity, which is a different thing than equality. Creating a kind of a feeling that we all get to experience, this collective pot, so to speak. So, I think there's a-there's a lot of really cool stuff that's happening there in-game and then in the real world in our story."

Ryan Reynolds stars as a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, and decides to become the hero of his own story—one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way, before it is too late.

Free Guy hits theaters December 11

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