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Free Guy composer says Ryan Reynolds comedy will be Grand Theft Auto meets The Truman Show

By Josh Weiss
Free Guy

Next summer, Ryan Reynolds will continue his meta streak in Free Guy, a comedy film about a video game NPC who gains sentience, realizes he's a video game character, and then proceeds to game the system, so to speak.

Reynolds is playing the titular character, a mild-mannered bank teller simply known as "Guy" who begins to question his reality when the bank he works in gets robbed every single day. His suspicions are confirmed when he puts on a pair of glasses that allow him to see the ins and outs of his virtual world.

“It’s a cross between Grand Theft Auto and The Truman Show, and I’m finding it to be one of the biggest musical challenges of my career," the project's composer, Christophe Beck, tells SYFY WIRE.

We caught the first trailer at New York Comic Con this year, and those comparisons are certainly appropriate. However, we also got flashes of The Matrix, They Live, Wreck-It Ralph, The Lego Movie, Black Mirror, and Ready Player One.

"There are several different universes to consider within the film," continues Beck, alluding to the fact that the story takes place in the real world as well as the world of the video game. The fictional game in which Guy lives out his monotonous existence is called "Free City," a mixture of GTA and Fortnite.

Free Guy poster

"Universes within universes that all need to have a distinct musical treatment, and I’m just still kind of working it out of my head, exactly what each of those are gonna sound like," teases the composer. "I’m just beginning that now, and it’s, of course, very daunting, as every project that I begin is. The fear of the blank page, but it’s also the most exciting stage, because it’s nothing but possibility and potential, and I can’t wait to get into it."

Helmed by Shawn Levy (a producer and director on Stranger Things and the director of Night at the Museum), the movie co-stars Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, and Taika Waititi, among others.

In particular, Comer and Keery portray programmers who devised a code that allows Guy to break free of his non-playable bonds. Waititi plays Antwan, an unscrupulous game publisher who stole their code and stuck it in Free City.

"The world inside the game is very saturated and colored ... [It's] more aspirational, a little more heightened reality," Levy said at New York Comic Con this year, adding that the scenes set in our reality utilize "messier frames, because real life is messy."

Matt Lieberman (Scoob) and Zak Penn (Ready Player One) wrote the screenplay.

Free Guy will begin to lampoon video game tropes when it opens in theaters on July 3, 2020.