Shawn Levy has some experience with video game movies. Despite the filmmaker's upcoming movie Free Guy being an original property about an NPC (that's Non-Playable Character) gone rogue in a GTA-like world, Levy was previously attached to helm the Uncharted movie, which was later taken over by Venom's Ruben Fleischer.
Speaking with SFX for the latest issue of the magazine with Titans on the cover, Levy compares Free Guy and Uncharted, stressing the freedom that came with doing an original IP was a "liberating" experience.
"I spent over a year working on Uncharted, and it wasn’t quite coming together," he says. "And, interestingly, I have enjoyed the freedom of doing a videogame movie that is not an adaptation of a videogame. It’s very scary and a little bit strict to do an adaptation of an actual game. We’ve seen 99 percent of those movies fail.
"So for me to get to create an original videogame, inside an original film, was liberating as a filmmaker in the way that an adaptation of Uncharted wouldn’t have been quite as free.”
Beyond capturing the aesthetics of video games, Levy was determined that Free Guy be more than just a cute Hollywood approximation of the gaming experience. "I wanted the movie to be both a love letter to gaming culture but also a commentary on gaming culture. So we included a lot of people in the making of the movie who live in that gaming world. Hopefully we’ve made a movie that reflects that culture, but is also commenting on aspects of it that are less healthy and more toxic. The movie has a videogame premise, but it was very important that the appeal be much broader than just gamers who are looking for inside jokes."
You can check out the full interview with the team behind Free Guy – which reaches cinemas on August 13 – in the next issue of SFX Magazine, which features Titans on the cover. For more from SFX, make sure to sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.