‘Free Guy’: Ryan Reynolds Made Some Impactful Changes to the Screenplay

Ryan Reynolds wasn’t a passive actor on the set of Free Guy. In an interview, the movie’s screenwriter, Matt Lieberman, recently revealed that Reynolds made some impactful changes to the movie’s screenplay

Lieberman said Ryan Reynolds is a ‘great writer’ 

Ryan Reynolds waves in beige suit
Ryan Reynolds attends the ‘Free Guy’ New York Premiere | Arturo Holmes/WireImage

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Free Guy screenwriter Lieberman said that while Ryan Reynolds is a great writer, he didn’t see him as fitting for the lead role of Guy. He also noted that the script kicked into high gear once Reynolds was involved. 

“I would never in a million years dream that Ryan Reynolds would be Guy,” Lieberman told the publication. “I love Ryan, and once he got on board, the script went from just being in development to 100 miles per hour. I did a pass on the script with him, exchanging pages back and forth.” 

Lieberman explained that the Deadpool star’s experience as a writer, producer, and actor gave him valuable perspective. From there, Guy expanded as a character. 

“He is a great writer,” said Lieberman. “He is a smart producer. He was looking at things as a writer, as an actor, as the guy who has to go out and sell all these lines and these scenes. His biggest note was, in the original script, Guy was a cynical character. He started in a cynical place. ‘Why do we put up with this?’ And he was like, ‘Guy should be happy where he is.’ It really gave the character a much bigger arc. A further place to go. He had a lot of great ideas. It wasn’t just that.” 

Out of that came Reynolds’ major contribution to the film — ‘Dude,’ an absurdly extreme version of Guy who essentially forces him to fight himself. 

According to Lieberman, in addition to picking the screenplay up and dusting it off while it was stalled in development, Reynolds was instrumental in developing the romance in the script. 

“The movie asks, ‘What does it mean to be human? How much of ourselves is our programming?’ Lieberman said. “The romance definitely evolved, especially once Ryan and Shawn [Levy, the movie’s director] got involved.” 

Reynolds had a screenwriting credit for ‘Deadpool 2’

Ryan Reynolds is known for being involved in his movies; his brilliant improvised ad-libs in Deadpool 2 earned him a co-writing credit. And in a 2017 interview with Variety, the actor admitted that anxiety played a part — his involvement in developing the character ultimately kept him up at night. 

“I’d write 10 more jokes,” he told the magazine. “I never, ever slept. Or I was sleeping at a perfect right angle — just sitting straight, constantly working at the same time.”

Later, he shared with the hosts of the Smartless podcast that he still deals with insomnia. 

“There’s a lot of insomnia, there’s a lot of sleepless nights where you’re laying awake over-analyzing everything,” he said. 

Liberman would love a ‘Free Guy’ sequel

Ryan Reynolds reportedly has already revealed that Disney is interested in moving forward with a sequel. Lieberman said he would love to, but that it would depend largely on Reynolds. 

“Obviously, that depends on how it does, and how Ryan feels,” Lieberman told The Hollywood Reporter. “I would love to revisit this world. There are so many cool things we can do with the characters and the world.”

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