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In the New Trailer for Free Guy, Ryan Reynolds Becomes the Ultimate Romanceable NPC

She wasn’t prepared for this dialogue tree.
Image: 20th Century Studios
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He would do anything for love, but he won’t do that—by which we mean become corporeal. We’ve got a new trailer and release date for Ryan Reynold’s Free Guy, a film about a video game NPC that gains self-awareness and becomes an international celebrity for being nice. And pissing off Taika Waititi in the process.

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The newest trailer for Free Guy stars Reynolds as “Blue Shirt Guy,” a hapless bank teller who finds out he’s actually a background character in an open-world, total destruction video game called Free City. As you can see in the latest trailer, his awareness is largely caused by his virtually star-crossed romance with a player named Milly/Molotov Girl (Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer).

Blue Shirt Guy starts to fight back against the players destroying his world, using a pair of augmented reality glasses to see the video game elements hiding underneath the facade. Surprisingly, his actions start making him famous, as folks think he’s a player who’s simply trying to “be nice.” He even gets a question on Jeopardy! Unfortunately, he gains the ire of game designer Antoine (Taika Waititi), who doesn’t want some random player (or NPC) ruining his perfect creation. Eventually, the game’s very future is put in jeopardy, so Blue Shirt Guy and his fellow NPCs have to rise up and save their city.

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Based on the trailer, the movie has some serious The Lego Movie vibes, combined with the sometimes-dated tropes about gaming as seen in that ridiculously violent and over-the-top Gerard Butler movie Gamer. But unlike that theatrical trip into video game land, Free Guy is not yet rated, so time will tell how violent this game (and movie) actually get. 20th Century Studios also released a new poster, along with the release date.

Free Guy is set to arrive in theaters on December 11, although the novel coronavirus pandemic could cause it to be delayed like so many others.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

Wraithfighter

Free Guy is set to arrive in theaters on December 11, although the novel coronavirus pandemic could cause it to be delayed like so many others.

Given that it’s only 2 months away and that this seems to be a newly announced date, it tells me two things:

1: It’s probably not going to be delayed and actually will open on December 11.

2: It’s going to be utterly awful trash.

Granted, the new trailer basically sunk any hopes I had for this being remotely decent in the first place. The concept could work if they leaned heavy on the comedy and absurdity inherent in the premise, but the whole “We must save the NPCs because they’re real people!” thing is just... noooooo.

LEGO MOVIE SPOILERS BELOW

One reason that the Lego Movie worked so well is that it never played that card. The conflict in the Lego world was a symbolic one for the conflict between the father and son, but not a literal incarnation of the conflict, and no real person in the film saw the Legos as anything but toys.

I’m sure they’ll justify it with some super-advanced AI that’s so good at simulating people in this video game that they practically are real people, but otherwise, ugh, it just feels like a weak, cynical attempt to appeal to gamers who talk about their video game waifus and crap.

And as someone who ALWAYS HUGS TALI DON’T YOU DARE IGNORE THAT PARAGON INTERRUPT YOU SOULLESS MONSTERS, it just feels like weak, superficial pandering. Because I know the characters in-game aren’t literally real, if they were literally real then these video games would be a fucking horror show and I’d be demanding that people get tried in the fucking Hague.

So yeah, likely the real release date, because the film is a pile of crap that they just want off the books so that they don’t lose too much money from it.