It’s not an easy feat for filmmakers to create an entire world in addition to a compelling script and characters. In 2018, FREE GUY director Shawn Levy was looking for his next project when he got a text from Ryan Reynolds, saying, "Hey, what are you doing next spring? I think I’ve got something for us."
"I still have the text on my phone," Levy said. He met with Reynolds, and FREE GUY was born. The high-flying adventure comedy follows Guy, a bank teller at Free City Bank, who lives an ordinary, happy, and repetitive life. Then a random event wakes him up to the reality that he’s a background player in the violent video game "Free City."
“Designing the game world, designing the costumes, the makeup, the hairstyles of the avatars, was really fun for me and for all my collaborators making the movie because we weren’t beholden to a real existent video game,” Levy said in a sit-down interview with us.
"So, not only did I get to create a movie, I got to create a video game of my own choosing. So we made the rules, we created the devices, we chose the looks and it very much so tapped into this filmmaking dream of maximum creative space."
In the movie, one of the geniuses behind "Free City" is Walter "Keys" McKeys (played by Joe Keery), who bites the bullet and goes to work for competitor gaming developer Soonami Studios. He tries to unravel the mystery that surrounds Guy while figuring out how to deal with his own emotions.
"He is at a low point," Keery said. "But that’s a great springboard for him for the rest of the movie, so the arc was really written into the script and I just had the pleasure of really getting to play with the actors that were on set every day."
That cast is a talented group of actors that includes Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, and Taika Waititi. Keery and Levy have worked together in the past, and bringing Reynolds and the other cast members into the mix creates a movie and gaming experience not to miss.
Check out our interview with Shawn Levy and Joe Keery to find out what life lessons they took away from the movie:
FREE GUY opens on August 13!
All images courtesy of 20th Century Studios.