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Wait, I Thought Ryan Reynolds Was Taking A Break From Acting? Why He Still Has A New Netflix Movie Coming Up

Ryan Reynolds is shown in Red Notice trailer.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Ryan Reynolds has stayed remarkably busy as a working actor for decades. He started professionally acting in 1991, gained notoriety for the weirdly titled sitcom Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Shop in 1998, then graduated to film roles and basically never slowed down. So when Reynolds revealed in October of 2021 that he finally was taking an extended break from acting to spend more time with his family, we accepted that, and braced for a lengthy absence of sarcastic cool.

Except, Reynolds has a new movie – The Adam Project – coming to Netflix on March 11. He also wrapped Spirited, a musical version of the classic Dickens Christmas carol that co-stars Will Ferrell and Octavia Spencer. That comes out in 2022, as well. Finally, Reynolds has a bevy of announced projects that could keep him active for years, including a Clue remake that’s been bandied about, an adaptation of the popular video game Dragon’s Lair, and Deadpool 3… if Disney and Marvel Studios ever get that one off the ground.

What exactly is going on with Ryan Reynolds’ break from acting? He has been laying low since announcing this “sabbatical from movie making” in October, and appears to be on a break now. But when will he be back? Let’s discuss this further. 

What Ryan Reynolds Said About Taking A Break From Acting

The limelight shines bright on Ryan Reynolds, particularly when he’s standing on a red carpet with his equally famous spouse, Blake Lively. Even as the film industry struggled to release films during a global pandemic, Reynolds released Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Free Guy (which just received an Academy Award nomination), and the Netflix hit Red Notice. So while speaking with LinkedIn News (opens in new tab) in December, he elaborated on one of his Instagram posts calling for a “sabbatical from movie making.” Reynolds clarified:

I want my kids to have a pretty normal schedule. For many years when my wife Blake would shoot a film, I would not shoot a film and I would be with the kids and vice versa. So we would sort of trade off. We never really worked at the same time. But always we were away. So the kids were away too. … Now that they're in school, they have a somewhat normal schedule. I think it's totally important for their development and I really enjoy being a present dad. I love taking them to school in the morning, I love picking them up. I love that I have the hours in between to focus on the things that I'm really passionate about like MNTN and Maximum Effort.

Reynolds has side projects that could entertain him outside of acting, should he ever walk away from it entirely. He bought Mint Mobile, and frequently advertises for it. He owns a stake in Aviation American Gin. And he backs his production house Maximum Effort in all that they create. 

So, how does this break actually work?  If anything, the release date shuffles caused by COVID likely gave Ryan Reynolds more time at home with his wife and kids than expected. While he may grow accustomed to the husband/father interplay, due to the scheduling, he’ll still have movies to release to his fans while he enjoys what he himself calls a little sabbatical.” 

His next film, The Adam Project, reunites him with Free Guy filmmaker Shawn Levy. The high concept comedy filmed from November 2020 to March 2021. Four months later, Reynolds was in Massachusetts from July-October 2021 filming Spirited. And as he points out in his Instagram post, it was a grueling shoot because of the musical nature of the movie. Reynolds said:

Not sure I’d have been ready to say yes to a film this challenging even three years ago. Singing, dancing and playing in the sandbox with Will Ferrell made a whole lotta dreams come true.

Between The Adam Project and Spirited, Reynolds fans have two films on the radar they can look forward to. But will that be it for a long time?  

What’s Ryan Reynolds’ Next Movie?

Chances are, it will be If, written and directed by A Quiet Place helmer John Krasinski. That’s right, the filmmaker tipped his hand when he Tweeted the ensemble he has put together for If, a 2023 release that features Steve Carell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fiona Shaw, Louis Gossett Jr., and Mr. Ryan Reynolds.

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Details of the plot are being kept under wraps, though the movie has a release date at the moment of November 17, 2023. So that “sabbatical” Reynolds imposed on himself will be short lived, because he’s no doubt going to be following If with Clue, Deadpool 3, Paul King’s Everyday Parenting Tips, or some other intriguing screenplay that lands on his desk. So long as it isn’t Green Lantern 2. You’re welcome, Canada. 

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.