Ryan Reynolds has a good thing going with Deadpool, which finally turned him from a big name into an A-list superstar with his very own comic book franchise. But he’s always been open to bold and original one-offs. From Buried, set entirely inside a coffin lying under the ground, to The Voices, in which he plays a hapless serial killer who can talk to animals, he’s lent his name to projects that may not have gotten made otherwise. And now we have the big budget comedy Free Guy, in which he plays a background character living inside a video game.
The first trailer kicks off with some Deadpool-style meta jokes, opening with a Fox logo before a title card states that it’s from the studio (i.e., their brand new overlord Disney) that brought you Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King “twice.” It spends the next three minutes introducing you to Reynolds’ regular guy Guy, a bank teller living in a relentlessly exciting Grand Theft Auto-type game world, in which he’s routinely kidnapped or shot at or simply ignored as players run around with weapons of various shapes and sizes.
There will probably be some deep ruminating on free will, courtesy director Shawn Levy, of Cheaper by the Dozen and the Night at the Museum films. But it’s also a big-time action-comedy, with Reynolds’ Guy one day deciding to assert his agency, pick up some guns, and start hanging out with a fellow rebel played by Emmy-winning Killing Eve co-star Jodie Comer. (Taika Waititi is also on hand as the game’s evil developer or at least someone with too much power.) Whatever happens, it appears Reynolds is using his mega-clout to sneak some originals into the worlds’ franchise-clogged multiplexes.
Free Guy comes out on July 3, 2020.