Director Shawn Levy on the ups and downs of making ‘Free Guy’

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Director Shawn Levy and actor Ryan Reynolds behind the scenes of “Free Guy.” Photo by Alan Markfield.

Filmmaker Shawn Levy’s new movie “Free Guy” — a big-budget original starring Ryan Reynolds as a video game character — is finally opening exclusively in theaters after having its release date pushed three times because of the pandemic. But heading into opening weekend, Levy wasn’t sure if people would go. 

“I have to confess, I don’t know,” Levy says. “I don’t know what the reaction will be to going to theaters, and going to theaters for a new movie. I’d like to believe there’s an audience and an appetite for originality and non-franchise sequels, but I don’t know.”

The producer-director behind hits including the “Night at the Museum” franchise and Netflix’s “Stranger Things” tells us about the ups and downs of making “Free Guy,” and why he still wants studios to greenlight big movies that aren’t a part of a franchise, even if he isn’t sure there will be theaters to show them in.



Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker