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Ryan Reynolds And Free Guy’s Director Reveal How The Flick Landed Its Marvel And Star Wars Easter Eggs

Still image of Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy.
(Image credit: 20th century studios)

If there’s anything fun about watching a movie from a hit franchise, it’s finding the Easter eggs. After all, you know you spot Easter eggs whenever you watch a Pixar movie like finding Toy Story’s Jessie doll in Monsters Inc or finding Up’s Carl Fredricksen’s walking stick in Wall-E. With Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy being a funny version of The Matrix in which a man discovers he’s the background character of a video game, you can expect to see a mini parade of pop culture Easter eggs and a number of celebrity cameos in the third act. Did anyone manage to spot Easter Eggs coming from Marvel or even Star Wars? Ryan Reynolds and Free Guy’s director Shawn Levy explain how they managed to make that happen.

Ryan Reynolds promised us that Free Guy would be jam packed with pop-culture Easter eggs and his promise was kept. With the final fight between Guy and the monstrous doppelganger Dude, Guy would need access to weapons and upgrades like any other video game character in order to win. Director Shawn Levy explained to Variety about how he managed to squeeze in some Star Wars and Marvel elements into his video game action-comedy flick.

We wrote a letter to Disney: ‘Dear Disney, this is Shawn Levy and Ryan Reynolds, could we use a lightsaber, or Cap’s shield or Hulk’s fist?’ I recollect that they said yes to all of them. Ryan recollected that maybe they said pick one or two? And we just decided to use all of them.

Audiences must have been cheering when those surprise Easter eggs popped up! Or they could have had the same reaction as Chris Evans did during his surprise cameo. Guy desperately deploying Captain America’s iconic shield to the tune of The Avengers theme song and using Hulk’s giant green fist was great, but it was too perfect for words when a lightsaber appeared in Guy's hands to slowly rise up with its signature hum. While Free Guy went all out with these Marvel and Star Wars weapons, there was one that Ryan Reynolds wished could have been used.

This is where it did get borderline lawless. I said, ‘I think this is the perfect opportunity to ask for forgiveness.’ I interpreted this as using all of them. I do regret that we didn’t do something with Thor’s hammer.

That would have been epic. Maybe Guy wouldn’t have made Thor’s mistake in hitting his enemy in the chest compared to decapitating him. Luckily, no rules were broken in incorporating these Easter eggs into the movie based on a little technicality according to The Adam Project actor. 

At that point, they had already made a tiny little purchase of Fox Studios, so we were technically a Disney movie anyway.

Once visual effects supervisor Swen Gillberg was given the okay from Disney to use these Marvel and Star Wars Easter eggs, that would mean he and his effects crew would have to start from scratch on a visual effect or redraft what was already done. For example, did you know that in order to keep the Captain America shield a secret, the prop was actually made out of cardboard and painted gray? Gillberg said that the signature red, white, and blue design was digitally added later. Disney ended up feeling satisfied with the final result. It’s nice to know that the visual effects team dedicated their time, effort, and creativity to include these new Easter egg additions to the film as it was a real audience pleaser. 

Let’s see how many Easter eggs you can spot in Free Guy which you can watch on your HBO Max subscription and your Disney+ subscription.

Carly Levy
Carly Levy

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.