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Ryan Reynolds on why Free Guy is Back To The Future meets GTA

(Image credit: 20th Century)

We could all do with a laugh right now – and Ryan Reynolds is here to deliver a few. The actor's upcoming movie, Free Guy, which reaches cinemas this December, sounds like a hoot and takes inspiration from some of our favourite movies. 

“I was looking to do something that felt the way I felt when I watched Back To The Future for the first time,” Reynolds tells our sister publication Total Film magazine. “I wanted to do something that felt like you were stepping into a world of wish-fulfilment and possibilities – a world that was funny, but had real stakes and real heart.”

Free Guy, though, doesn't deal with time-travel but instead takes place in an open-world video-game called Free City, which is basically Grand Theft Auto. Reynolds plays Guy, a non-player character who works at a bank. The game is set to be shut down but Guy puts a spanner in the works by revolting against his usual programmed routine and forging his own agency.

One of the game's coders, Milly, also creates an avatar, Molotov Girl, to help Guy in the fight against those trying to shut the game down. Killing Eve's Jodie Comer plays the dual-character, multi-accented role. “I was worried about doing the accent,” Comer admits. “I was like, ‘I don’t want to go into every role being like: ‘I can do this accent!’” But as it turns out it was her vocal dexterity that helped land her the role, her feature film debut, against nearly 100 actresses.

“I think she did three different accents in one particular scene in her audition,” says Reynolds, “She just had it. It’s one of those moments where [director] Shawn [Levy] and I are looking at each other, going, ‘Let’s just stop now, and get to work’.”

(Image credit: 20th Century)

Levy adds: “Jodie is not known as a comedy actor but she is so purely talented that I was willing to bet on that. We weren’t looking to just make a videogame movie, or a comedy. We were looking to make an aspirational and ultimately poignant story of empowerment so we needed an actor’s actor, not just a funny actress, for that role. We needed someone who could deliver on the comedy, but perhaps most importantly, on the emotionality of that role.”

Read the extended interview with Reynolds, Levy, and Comer – plus conversations with stars Taika Waititi and Joe Keery – in the upcoming issue of Total Film, which hits shelves and digital on Friday, May 1. You can subscribe online here. Free Guy reaches cinemas December 11, 2020. 

(Image credit: Future)

If you can’t make it to the shops, you can order a copy of the print magazine from this link from Friday. You can also subscribe to Total Film digitally on your tablet, and there’s currently an offer that allows you to get your first five digital issues for just £5/$5/€5. Head to this link to sign up (Black Widow issue available from April 3). Terms and conditions apply, offer runs until April 30, 2020. If you subscribe, you can get exclusive covers like the one below.

(Image credit: Future)