A little over a month after the release of Hitman & Bodyguard 2, Ryan Reynolds is already back in theaters in a new action comedy, Free Guy. Meeting with the star but also her partner Jodie Comer and the director of the film, Shaw Levy.
After trying his hand at a more dramatic register with This is where we leave in 2015, Shawn Levy returns with Free Guy to his favorite genre: comedy. During a round table and then a press conference, DashFUN was able to meet the filmmaker but also the stars of the film, Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer, as well as the production designer Ethan Tobman.
Immerse yourself with them in the crazy universe of this feature film where a bank employee discovers that he is actually an extra in an online video game and decides to become the hero of his own story, even if it means rewriting it …
Q: Shawn, tell us about the inspiration for making this film and the themes you wanted to explore?
Shawn Levy: It was a script that had been around for a while with an “extra” character in a video game who suddenly became aware of his existence. For me, a film about a character that doesn’t interest anyone at first glance is a film that carries with it the best opportunity to turn everything into a rich and complex script. Remember Rocky, no one took him seriously!
Ryan Reynolds and I immediately saw Free Guy as a very original and very commercial concept. We didn’t want to make a video game movie. We see this film more as a metaphor for our society in transition. We wanted to make a film that shows that many of us, in real life, are helpless spectators in the face of what is going on around us. How then can we take control of our lives and have a real impact on the course of our existence?
These are the main themes and motivations behind this film. The challenge was to create a universe that combines the world of video games with that of reality. It is for me, also, a film which delivers happiness with this character full of humor and ultra positive, Guy, played by Ryan Reynolds. Now is the time, after everything we’ve been through for a year and a half, to be happy and find hope. It is time to reconnect with ourselves and put aside the grayness of the past few months.
Q: Ryan, how did you find this original story?
Ryan Reynolds: I read the script and sent it to Shawn. (…) It’s difficult to make a film that isn’t based on something that already exists or a comic book or a sequel. It’s a hell of a challenge. So you take the movie to a place that you find perfect or original and there you have to find a way to make it 30% better because you have nothing to rely on, no fanbase.
So you have to go ahead and prove it’s worth it the old fashioned way. It was a challenge that, thank goodness, Shawn and every actor were ready to take on. And it was nerve-racking.
Q: Shawn, what were the challenges in making this film successfully?
Shawn Levy: Despite all the technical difficulties we encountered, we had a great time, all together, making this film. I even developed a deep friendship with Ryan.
Perhaps the biggest challenge was for Ethan to go to Boston, a few months before me, to find a way to create a virtual video game world within real settings. Without having to create the environment on a computer or on gigantic film sets. We didn’t have that kind of budget. This is not a $ 200 million movie! Ethan therefore had to find all the settings in the city of Boston.
Ethan Tobman: Indeed, the scouting to find the sets of this film was a real headache. Especially since it was necessary to create the world in the video game and the world outside. So it was two Bostons we needed. We have clearly defined the two worlds, whether in terms of design, colors, costumes, etc. From the first glance you should know if you are in the video game or in the real world.
In the video game we have saturated pastel colors and there is a sense of depth of field with perfect focus adjustment. The weather is always sunny in the video game. Quite the opposite of the real world …