‘Free Guy’: Director Shawn Levy Explains How He Got Huge Marvel Cinematic Universe Actor Cameo

Ryan Reynolds takes over the box office with his 2021 science fiction action comedy movie Free Guy. After a year-long delay, fans finally see Reynolds as his character simply called ‘Guy’. As Reynolds is popular amongst other Hollywood actors with an impressive friends list, he used his resources to create some jaw-dropping cameos. Fans did not expect to see the array of known Hollywood actors appear in the movie. One, in particular, was Marvel Cinematic Universe actor Chris Evans. The movie’s director, Shawn Levy, explains how they convinced Evans for a cameo.

Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy 'Free Guy' at movie premiere embracing each other
Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy ‘Free Guy’ movie premiere | Arturo Holmes/WireImage via Getty Images

Chris Evans, Channing Tatum, Hugh Jackman and many more cameos

According to Reynolds, Free Guy has a hidden message about friendship. But Reynolds is more clearly talking about his Hollywood friends being more than happy to appear in a scene or two in the movie. According to Screen Rant, actors such as Channing Tatum, Hugh Jackman, Tina Fey, and Dwayne Johnson made cameos.

Channing Tatum appears at the beginning of the movie as an in-game avatar for Keith and once more later on. Hugh Jackman plays another in-game avatar but instead does a voice role as a character that one of the main characters seeks out. Fans can easily recognize the voice cameo done by Dwayne Johnson as he plays one of the many bank robbers that Reynold’s character encounters.

Besides Hollywood actors, the movie also includes voice cameos by Twitch, Youtube, and known game streamers. Fans were also surprised to learn that Captain America, aka Chris Evans, also answered Reynold’s call to be in the movie.

Captain America’s shield led to Chris Evans cameo

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Free Guy director Shawn Levy explained to Entertainment Tonight how the movie’s storyline led to asking Chris Evans to appear in a cameo. Because of the FOX-Disney merger, Levy was able to give Reynolds access to many weapons seen in the Marvel Universe. In the movie, Guy (Reynolds) levels up in the game and has access to new weaponry.

Levy explains that he would take advantage of a lightsaber and Captain America’s shield if he were playing Guy. This led to Levy and Reynold’s writing a letter to Disney saying, “Hello, I am Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy. We are making Free Guy, as you know. You now own us. Can we please use one of these fancy iconic devices?”

Disney said yes, and Reynolds took it a step further when he realized Evans would be filming Defending Jacob in Massachusetts at the same time as the movie. According to Levy, Evans said yes but only if he could “be in and out in 10 minutes”. Fans were surprised and cheered as Evans appeared on screen as himself watching Guy use his Captain America shield in the game and comments, “What the sh*t!”

What is ‘Free Guy’ about?

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The 2021 movie’s premise entails an open-world video game called Free City developed by Soonami Games. The game’s code was stolen from its original developers Walter “Keys” McKey (Joe Keery) and Millie Rusk (Jodie Comer). Walter now works at Soonami while Millie spends time in the game as her avatar, Molotov Girl, to find evidence that the game is rightfully theirs.

Guy, a non-player character (NPC), works at the bank, unaware that his life is a video game. When his bank gets robbed, he steals a pair of glasses from a player and sees his new reality from the player’s head-up display. Guy also meets Molotv Girl, who refuses to talk to him unless he levels up. Instead of causing chaos to do so, Guy completes missions and gains attention. He decides to write his own story and become a hero to save the day and help Molotov Girl.