Posted on Monday, August 16th, 2021 by Eric Vespe
If you made the trek to the theater this weekend and watched Free Guy, you may have some questions about how certain iconic pop culture items ended up in the finale. Well, director Shawn Levy has got you covered. (Spoilers below! You’ve been warned!)
Anybody paying even a tiny bit of attention to the movie business pre-pandemic will surely have figured out that Fox being bought by Disney opened up quite a lot of options for some fun Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm elements that play into the film’s final battle.
What is a little surprising, however, is when those Disney-owned elements were brought into the film.
The film has a climactic fight between the goodie-two-shoes NPC named Guy and his muscled-up doppelganger, Dude. What gives Guy an edge in this fight are the fruits of his relentless drive to level up his character, and at a critical moment he pulls out some branded weapons, including Hulk’s fist, the unicorn mace from Fortnite, a gosh-darned lightsaber, and even Captain America’s shield, complete with a cutaway cameo from Chris Evans himself.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly‘s Nick Romano, Levy says that the Disney/Fox merger happened days before Free Guy began filming and that was when the creative team behind the movie started enquiring about plussing their ending.
More Guns, Less Pop Culture Iconography
Originally, they planned on using some of the weapons established earlier on, including the Portal gun, as well as some pulls from Fox’s IP, most notably a nod to Deadpool 2 where Guy pulls Cable’s gun from his stash to help in his fight against Dude. Levy said:
“We got Cable’s gun out of the prop warehouse of 20th Century Fox, shipped it to Boston, shot the scene with the gun, but then, with all due respect to Cable, once you got a lightsaber and a Captain America shield, it’s really, really hard for anything to compete on this scale.”
Levy also noted that it never sat well with him that Guy would suddenly pull out all these guns during the final fight since his whole thing was taking weapons off the streets of Free City.
To further add to the serendipity of this change, Chris Evans just happened to also be in Boston shooting Defending Jacob. When the decision to bring in Cap’s shield was made, all it took was a friendly text from Ryan Reynolds to lock in his cameo, which they shot in only 10 minutes.
It’s a hell of a moment and got a big reaction in my theater, so it was well worth the time it took to send a text.
Keep Your Ears Peeled For More A-List Cameos
In this same interview, Levy also spilled a little bit about other voice cameos. Many of the players in the movie wear masks, so that opened up a ton of fun opportunities, including Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson, Tina Fey, and John Krasinski.
The process on those was about as glamorous as hopping into Chris Evans’ DMs. They were either contacted by Reynolds or Levy (remember, Levy worked with Hugh Jackman on the still under-seen Real Steel and Reynolds has a love/hate relationship with the Wolverine actor that has played out over many movies and even a competing booze line) and most recorded their bits as voice memos on their phones.
The glitz and glamor of Hollywood, I tell ya.
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