Shawn Levy Went Off-Book For His Favorite Bits Of The Adam Project

The partnership between Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy is a gift that keeps on giving. They're responsible for giving us "Free Guy" — one of the most fun movies of 2021 — and their recent Netflix film "The Adam Project" is a sci-fi, Amblin-inspired adventure that has been a massive hit for the streaming giant. The film sees Reynolds as Adam Reed, a time-traveling fighter pilot who travels back in the past to 2022, where he meets his 12-year-old self (Walter Scobell). Adam goes rogue to save the woman he loves but is accidentally trapped in his own past.

Reynolds clearly has a lot of fun with his role — the film is consistently entertaining and goes easy on the science. It also has an uncanny ability to turn back the clock. It is a fun ride reminiscent of popular '80s classics —  Levy has admitted to referencing films such as Steven Spielberg's "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" and "Back to the Future" while developing the film's concept. It also features a lightsaber-esque weapon

The director and Reynolds both had a great time collaborating on the film — and revealed that they had to often stray away from the script to make "The Adam Project" the movie it was meant to be.

It's all about adapting

In an interview with Collider, both Reynolds and Levy discussed that they needed to be open to ideas that arrived in-between filming "The Adam Project." The ideas that came to mind in the spur of a moment could become "movie defining decisions," so the filmmaker and the actor were open to improvising and changing things if the movie demanded it.

Shawn Levy explained how one of his favorite scenes in "The Adam Project" came to be, through an unexpected idea.

"... The other thing that people don't realize is every day at every stage, if you're open to ideas that come to you on the fly, they end up being movie defining decisions. So whether it's you're acting a scene and you're directing a scene and maybe I come up with... There's a scene in our movie where we're doing the scene. It was pretty good, but Ryan and I were both like, "It's pretty good." Then suddenly, I said to Walker, "Shine the flashlight in Ryan's face. Just bug him. Just shine the flashlight in his face." And then it led to basically the centerpiece of the scene where Ryan steals it out of the kid's hand, he's shines in the kids' face. You never know what are going to be the small, little ideas that make something better, and that carries every day, all the way through post-production."

Reynolds added to his collaborator's thought, sharing that "listening to the movie" was crucial while making one. It's one of the many things that keep him awake at night — and enthusiastic about doing his job.

Reynolds believes in 'listening to the movies'

As Reynolds said: 

"[T]he thing I genuinely love the most about the privilege it is to making movies is listening to the movie. When you listen to the movie, it will tell you things. And if you are quite ardent and dogmatic about the script and the story has to be this, you miss out on a lot of things. It's expanding on the same point that Shawn just made. But when you really sit there and put your ear to the ground and listen to the story you're telling, it says all kinds of things that you wouldn't expect it to say or tell you. If you listen to those things, magic happens. That's the part that I think keeps me awake at night and keeps me excited and energized to do this for as long as I can possibly do it."

Ryan Reynolds has always had an intriguing filmography — his charming personality as a performer assists him in perfecting any role. The first two "Deadpool" films challenged the very notion of what a superhero could be and brought something unique to the table. Seeing Reynolds take on such fascinating roles in "Free Guy" and "The Adam Project" only makes me feel excited about the future of his movies. That being said, with Shawn Levy set to direct "Deadpool 3," I'm feeling hopeful about the movie-making magic they will get to experience together this time around.