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The Adam Project marks the second time that Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy have teamed up to make a big genre movie that’s not based on a pre-existing property, which is something of a rarity in an era where franchises rule the box office. And yet, in both The Adam Project and Free Guy, Reynolds’ character manages to get his hands on a lightsaber, the iconic weapon from one of the biggest IPs of all time, Star Wars.
So, what gives? Is Reynolds just that strong with the Force?
“I’m a Star Wars geek, like pretty much everyone in my generation, and I will wear that badge proudly,” Levy admits to SYFY WIRE.
To be fair, the moments are a little different. In Free Guy, Reynolds’ character, Guy, is on the receiving end of a beat-down while facing off against a hulking foe. Suddenly, he turns the tables by whipping out Captain America’s shield and follows it up by igniting a lightsaber with all the classic Star Wars sound effects.
In The Adam Project, Reynolds plays Adam Reed, a pilot from the future who travels back in time against orders and encounters his past self in child form (Walker Scobell) while trying to save his time-stranded wife (Zoe Saldaña). When goons from the future try to take out Adam, he fends them off using an electro-staff sort of weapon that his younger self keeps insisting is a lightsaber.
“In my zeal to not be sued, I want to point out that there is no lightsaber in The Adam Project,” Levy tells SYFY WIRE with a laugh. Free Guy’s lightsaber moment — which was either fist-pumpingly awesome or a profoundly depressing bit of IP referencing, take your pick — was made possible through corporate synergy, as Disney owns the MCU and Star Wars, while The Adam Project is a Netflix film. That means that Reynolds isn't actually holding a lightsaber this time around, according to Levy.
"There is an actual literal lightsaber in Free Guy. There are many lightsaber jokes in The Adam Project,” Levy continues, wryly. “Trust me, I spent many an hour with my VFX geniuses designing Ryan Reynolds’ weapon so it would very obviously not be a lightsaber.”
Hmmm… fair enough. But if there’s anything even resembling a lightsaber in Levy’s next movie, that’s enough to call this a trend.
The Adam Project is now streaming on Netflix.