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Now a veteran of the comic book movie genre, having enjoyed plenty of success in the Deadpool movies, Ryan Reynolds is next looking to make his mark on the video game genre. Next year, Ryan Reynolds provides the voice for the titular character in Detective Pikachu, and now he is joining another video game movie, only this one is an original idea and not based on an existing property. The actor will join Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy for the video game action comedy Free Guy.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the sci-fi action comedy from 20th Century Fox will see Ryan Reynolds in the starring role as a background character in a video game who doesn't know that he's in a video game. He has an awakening and discovers the nature of his reality. Then he must join forces with an avatar to prevent his world from being shut down by the makers of the game. The script for Free Guy is written by Matt Lieberman, who also wrote next year's animated reboot of The Addams Family. Shawn Levy will direct Free Guy and also produce alongside Ryan Reynolds. In addition to his producing and directing work on Stranger Things, Shawn Levy has also helmed the Night at the Museum films, Real Steel and This is Where I Leave You. A release date for Free Guy has not yet been set.
The story here sounds familiar, as we have seen lots of stories from The Matrix to The Truman Show that have looked at characters having their eyes opened to the artificiality of their world and their true purpose. The difference here is this will be taking what sounds like a more comedic approach and see the character not trying to escape his world, but save it. Shawn Levy has plenty of comedic experience having directed Date Night and The Internship, and we know Ryan Reynolds can bring the funny, so hopefully that recipe can deliver a hilarious take the world of video games from a somewhat new perspective.
Based on the fact that the world is in danger of being shut down, it sounds like Ryan Reynolds' character will be a resident of some sort of online game that is full of non-playable characters and avatars for real world users alike, with neither knowing the truth about the other at first. There's a lot of great stuff to make fun of in the online gaming world, and you have to think that Free Guy will tap in to some of that. I imagine that there will also be plenty of references and jokes directed specifically at the avid gamers in the audience.
When we talk about video game movies, we are usually mean adaptations, and in that regard Hollywood has failed magnificently. We don't see as many attempts like this to tell a video game story that isn't tied to any specific property, story or fan expectation. The video game movies that aren't adaptations range in quality, from Pixels to Wreck-It Ralph. Still, this being an original story it should give Free Guy plenty of freedom to have a lot of fun and tell its own comedic story.
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