Joe Keery describes upcoming Ryan Reynolds action-comedy Free Guy, about a guy who realizes he's a background character in a video game, as a mix between Back to the Future and The Truman Show. From Keery's Stranger Things director Shawn Levy, Free Guy follows bank teller Guy (Reynolds) into a limitless, open-world video game under siege from bad guys and in need of a hero. In the 1998 dramedy The Truman Show, Jim Carrey portrays insurance salesman Truman Burbank, the unsuspecting star of a show broadcasting a life he comes to realize is counterfeit — spurring him to take control of his reality.
"That was one of the things that when friends would ask me what the movie was about, I would say, 'Yeah, it's Truman Show meets maybe a little Back to the Future in there, maybe a little Ready Player One in there,'" Keery told The Hollywood Reporter. "Yeah, it was a real blessing working with Ryan, though. He's like, the nicest dude I've ever met in my entire life [laughs]."
Reynolds previously described the new movie as "an updated version of Back to the Future for this generation."
"It really felt like Back to the Future," Reynolds said of the film's script, penned by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn, during Brazil's CCXP convention in December. "It was imbued with all of that same sort of wish fulfillment, action-adventure, little elements of sci-fi and supernatural, so for us, it felt really timely."
The light-hearted comedy is "definitely hopeful and optimistic," according to Levy, who said Free Guy is "really about all these different characters becoming empowered and changing their lives." That includes Keery's character, Keys, a programmer in the real world.
"There aren't so many films these days that aren't based on something else, and when I read it originally, that's just so appealing, I think, to work on something that's new and something that's original and to have some real creative control, obviously," Keery said at CCXP. "It was really just an honor to be a part of it and I'm so excited for all of you guys to see it. It's going to be such a blast, I can't wait."
A bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story…one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way… before it is too late.
Originally scheduled to open in theaters July 3, 20th Century Studios now opens Free Guy on December 11.