Free Guy has a giant version of Ryan Reynolds' character called Dude. Comicbook.com's Brandon Davis spoke with both the director Shawn Levy and Ryan Reynolds about the jacked adversary facing off against Guy in the movie. Having the entire story unfold in a video game is kind of difficult to handle, and finding a threat big enough for Reynolds to bounce off of is even more troublesome. So, the idea of just making your own villain as the idealized version of the main character is a nice standard approach. Having some fun with the visual language of video games from the past two decades is just a cool bonus. Dude is actually based on a bodybuilder named Aaron Reed. How Levy and his star landed on that performer to help make the movie is wildly inventive and genuinely funny.
"It could've been that. That would've been a lot more expensive, but no," Levy began. "What we did was early on, we had this idea, Ryan and I. This character was not in the script, but we had this idea, what if Ryan has to fight Ryan? But what if it's an upgrade? What if it's Ryan 2.0? Taller, more muscular, more hairless, more streaks and tips hair, so we literally cast a bodybuilder out of LA. And his body was just sick and massive, and he made Ryan look like a fragile little feather."
"So, we cast this dude, Aaron Reed, and Aaron did the whole movie with dots on his face. Those are tracking markers. Later then, we put Ryan in a motion capture device called the egg. It all sounds very futuristic," he added. "We were like, "Ryan, enter the egg." And it's a machine where Ryan then did every line as Dude looking at lights in the motion capture egg, and then we digitally cut and morphed Ryan's real face on Aaron's body."
Reynolds added, "It really came to be just Shawn and I sitting in my apartment in New York and going, "We need something for Guy to fight, to physically fight against," because the enemy in the real world is Taika Waititi's character of Antoine, and we're never going to face off, 'so we have to find some anthropomorphic sized version of Taika's character to fight.' And that's where we came up with Dude, which would just be an upgraded version of my character. And how do we upgrade him? We give him bright, white Chiclet teeth."
"You give him about an extra 180 pounds of muscle on top of what I would already have. So the guy weighs 300 plus pounds. He's six foot seven. He's tan. He's gorgeous. He's got his frosted highlighted hair, and that's our guy that's going to come into the game to just completely kick the ever-loving s*** out of my character, Guy," the actor joked. "And we loved this concept and this idea as soon as it came about. So from then on, it was just the fun part of just manifesting the reality of it."
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