Free Guy Is Getting The Franchise Treatment

It's a great day to be a fan of wholesome action movies with video game sensibilities, because the Ryan Reynolds' movie "Free Guy" seems to be heading toward franchise territory. 

Despite the pandemic related delays, "Free Guy" managed to have one of the stronger box office showings in 2021 in addition to critical and audience acclaim. The world can't seem to get enough of Ryan Reynolds, and allowing him to play the charmingly naive NPC (non-playable character) in a popular multiplayer online video game tasked with saving the day was a recipe for success. Include Taika Waititi as the monstrously hilarious game developer Antwan Hovachelik alongside underdog game developers Millie Rusk (Jodie Comer) and Walter "Keys" McKey (Joe Keery) and there's no way audiences were going to be satisfied with just one installment of the "Free Guy" story. 

Luckily, during a recent interview, 20th Century Studios President Steve Asbell talked about the progression of the company now that they're under the Disney umbrella, and he provided some hearty information about the future of "Free Guy."

In relation to the other brands — Marvel, "Star Wars," Pixar, Disney Animation — we are closer to what you call "general entertainment" on the TV side. Some films will be more Disney-adjacent — "Avatar," "Free Guy," "Planet of the Apes" — and some films will be edgier.

Reynolds had already previously teased that Disney was eye-balling a sequel to the movie, but Asbell's interview is leading us to believe that the saga of "Free Guy" won't be ending anytime soon.

Why a Free Guy franchise is exciting

Director Shawn Levy had hinted at the possibility of a "Free Guy" franchise back in August, but hearing it from the 20th Century Studios President pretty much confirms it:

"We have this explosive new streaming mandate to pursue, yet we also have titles that we can make [for theatrical]. We have more 'Avatar' movies coming, we have more 'Free Guy' movies coming ...we're going to be pretty busy." 

You read that correctly, Asbell said movies with an "s." Asbell also noted in his interview that the "Free Guy" sequel script was due in a few days, and it has "a fantastic story."

Expanding something like "Free Guy" into a franchise is exciting, because it's been a while since we've gotten a bonafide movie franchise that wasn't an extension of IP that has existed for decades. No shade to the superheroes, James Bond, magical wizards, legacy slasher villains, or fast and furious drivers, but it's been a while since we've had a new franchise to be excited about. Given the massive landscape of the world of "Free Guy" and the connectivity of online video games, there's plenty for Levy and Co. to expand. Stay tuned!