Free Guy Star Ryan Reynolds Talks Making a Movie Based on Original IP

In a statement that really isn't a condemnation of modern-day Hollywood, it is a lot harder to get big-budget movies based on original IP greenlit these days. There is a lot of money on the line, and established IPs tend to do better than movies based on new IPs. That's why all of the craziest stuff usually comes out of studios like Searchlight, A24, or Neon. Free Guy is the rare movie to get the kind of blockbuster budget that it needed to get off of the ground. That is a risk, though, and it was one that star Ryan Reynolds was very aware of when he was asked about greenlighting a movie based on original IP in the current market.

"Well, I read the script," the Free Guy star explained. "Shawn [Levy] and I had met about another; we had a couple of close calls. We were close to working together, and I read the script.  And then I sent it to Shawn, and the next thing I know, Shawn was in my living room in New York. And we were talking about this world and how we could build it, and how we can make changes that would make it kind of relevant and speak to the world that we're living in now. And it just sort of went from there. And, you know, to Shawn's point earlier about, it's hard to make a new movie. It's hard to make something that isn't based on some pre-existing IP or a comic book or a sequel in some regard. It's very challenging.

Free Guy Star Ryan Reynolds Talks Making a Movie Based on Original IP
Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy on the set of 20th Century Studios' FREE GUY. Photo by Alan Markfield. © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

"So you get the movie to a place," Reynolds continued about how you need to try extra hard to rope in new fans. "You get the script to a place that you feel like it's perfect or it's great. And then you have to kind of make it 30% better somehow because you don't have any ability to rely on a pre-existing knowledge or fan base. So you really have to kind of go out there and prove it the old-fashioned way. That was a challenge that, thank God, Shawn and every single cast member on this webinar were up for. And it was nerve-wracking, and it continues to be nerve-wracking, even now as we're done and-and entering the world."

Critically, it seems to be working out for them so far since the reactions from people have been pretty positive. In terms of the box office, we'll have to see how it goes, but yesterday Chief Executive Officer of Disney Bob Chapek cited Free Guy and Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings as the experiments for the 45-day release mode. While Shang-Chi might not work out because people are spoiler careful for Marvel movies, something like Free Guy might really find a second wind when it shows up on streaming. The next six weeks are going to be interesting for this movie.

Summary: In Twentieth-Century Studio's epic adventure-comedy "Free Guy," a bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game 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, directed by Shawn Levy from a story by Matt Lieberman and a screenplay by Lieberman and Zak Penn, stars Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Taika Waititi. It will be released on August 13th.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at
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