Ryan Reynolds appeared unshaken after narrowly avoiding being crushed by a collapsed stage barrier during Brazil's CCXP convention, where Reynolds was promoting the Shawn Levy-directed Free Guy. Moments after Reynolds entered the show hall with Levy and co-star Joe Keery, Reynolds stepped down from the stage walkway to meet with fans and sign autographs. When onlookers in the front row were pushed forward, the commotion caused the barrier to give way against Reynolds. In footage captured during the incident, Reynolds is seen leaping backwards to avoid being pinned just seconds before a toppled barrier sends some front row attendees tumbling to the ground.
Rejoining Levy and Keery on stage before entering into an enclosed interview booth, Reynolds laughed off his near-miss before asking the crowd, "Is everybody okay over there? Everybody's okay?" When the crowd answered with robust applause, Reynolds replied, "Good, that's good."
"That's a passionate crowd," Levy said. Settling into the interview, Reynolds joked, "I've never had that happen before, outside of my own home."
Levy added the Free Guy panel was "really fun," telling the panel hosts, "We had heard that Brazilian fans are possibly the most passionate in the world, and I think now I can confirm that." Added Keery with a smile, "That is a definite confirmation on that."
"I'm coming back here every year, even when I don't have a movie," Reynolds quipped. "That was amazing." Added Levy, "Just to feel good about yourself!"
In Free Guy, Reynolds' titular character "slowly realizes he's a background character inside a video game," Levy said of his high-concept action-adventure. "And as he realizes that, he takes control of his life, and he's able to change his life, and so that's very much the theme of the movie. It goes between the video game world and the real world. Joe Keery plays a character in the real world, but it's really about all these different characters becoming empowered and changing their lives."
Asked if the movie is similar to The Matrix, Levy said there are "shades" of that film, but Free Guy "is definitely a comedy. It's definitely hopeful and optimistic."
For Reynolds, arguably best known for his role as mouthy mercenary Deadpool, Free Guy is Reynolds' "favorite film" he's ever done — and he hopes to respawn for sequels.
"When we first got this script, I remember Shawn and I had been wanting to work together for years, and we found this script. And to us, it felt like we really wanted to bring sort of an updated version of Back to the Future for this generation, and it really felt like Back to the Future," Reynolds said. "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."
He continued, "And it was an original movie. I mean, it's not every day that you get to make a movie isn't based on a comic book, or based on a graphic novel, or based on anything. It was just an original idea that we got to take the ball and run with, and it was a dream come true. It's my favorite film that I've ever done in my life, and I hope I get to make three or four more."