Ryan Reynolds Will Market Free Guy with Weird Viral Videos Like Deadpool

Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds will promote new movie Free Guy with “a lot of different, weird viral videos” ahead of its summer release. In Free Guy, from Disney-owned 20th Century Fox, Reynolds stars as Guy, who slowly begins to realize he's a nonplayable character living inside a video game. Reynolds The marketing for the R-rated Deadpool — most of it featuring Reynolds in-character as the titular Merc with a Mouth — included such viral stunts as fake movie posters presenting Deadpool as a Valentine’s Day-friendly romantic comedy, an emoji-only billboard, and a series of fourth wall-breaking videos with a costumed Reynolds, who murdered Extra host Mario Lopez in an April Fools’ Day video confirming the film’s R rating. For Free Guy, Reynolds promises to get just as creative:

“A lot of actors say, ‘They pay me to do the promotion and the marketing, the acting is free.’ For me, it’s kind of like, no no, I love the marketing,” Reynolds said during Brazil’s CCXP convention. “It’s a huge part of our job, and it’s an important part of our job, and there’s nothing that says it can’t be creative.”

Reynolds’ love for marketing is matched by his love for “coming up with unique ways to present an audience with something that they’re excited about already, or getting an audience excited about something,” he said. “So Free Guy, we’re gonna have a ton of stuff coming up. A lot of different, weird viral videos and bits that I think are gonna be a lot of fun for the audience, and for us to make.”

The star has already debuted a pretend featurette that turns into a Home Shopping Network-style commercial, where Reynolds attempts to sell limited edition Free Guy merchandise to appease studio Disney.

Directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Stranger Things) and co-starring Joe Keery (Stranger Things), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out) and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Free Guy is described by Reynolds as an updated Back to the Future for a new generation.

“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,” he said at CCXP. “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 original movie was also a “dream come true.”

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“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,” Reynolds said. “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.”

Free Guy opens July 3, 2020. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.

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