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When Disney acquired 20th Century Fox back in 2018, director Shawn Levy decided to take full advantage of it in Free Guy. It was so surprising that in many early press or fan event screenings, the film was preceded by a pre-recorded message from Ryan Reynolds asking the audience not to spoil any of the surprise cameos and reveals peppered throughout the story.
With that in mind...
***WARNING! The following contains major plot spoilers for Free Guy!***
During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the project's director opened up about the climactic battle between Guy (Reynolds) and a buffed-up — yet dim-witted — version of himself known as Dude. Just when all hope seems lost, Guy calls upon an arsenal of instantly recognizable weapons: a lightsaber, Hulk's fist, and Captain America's shield to turn the tide.
"We always wanted this idea that, at that point, Guy had mastery of the game world in which he lives and can therefore access all the various devices and weaponry that advanced players can utilize in Free City," Levy explained. "If the whole idea of this movie is wish fulfillment, wouldn't the ultimate wish fulfillment for Guy to be to use the most iconic weaponry, essentially, in cultural history? And now we're owned by the same studio that conveniently owns Lucas[film] and Marvel."
The appearance of Cap's shield is intercut with a short cameo from a visibly rankled Chris Evans who, watching the live-streamed throw down between Guy and Dude, exclaims "What the sh—?!" when he spots the MCU prop. According to Levy, Evans' guest spot was filmed within the span of 10 minutes inside a restaurant with black-outed windows.
"I recall Chris being like, 'Well, I'm really busy, but if you can get me in and out in like 10 minutes, sure. Why not?,'" the director recalled. "Chris rolled up, we walked him right into his seat in front of the camera, shot him, hugged it out, and he was on his way in less than 10."
Since the film was first green-lit by Fox, Levy & Co. originally planned to feature a different Marvel Easter egg in the form of Josh Brolin's Cable gun from Deadpool 2 (at the time, the screen rights to Wade Wilson and the X-Men were still owned by 20th Century). They shipped the prop all the way out to Boston and shot the scene, before ultimately probing the depths of the Disney treasure chest.
"With all due respect to Cable, once you got a lightsaber and a Captain America shield, it's really, really hard for anything to compete on this scale," Levy said. "I liked the idea that Guy never uses a gun in the entire movie. In fact, he's literally taking guns off the street as part of his leveling up. It felt somehow right to the character and also to the spirit of the movie."
Free Guy is now playing in theaters everywhere. It took the top spot at the domestic box office this past weekend with a North American haul of $28.4 million.