Free Guy doesn't need a sequel – but it's getting one anyway

Ryan Reynolds' Guy walking down a street in the movie Free Guy
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios/Disney)

Free Guy, the feel-good video game movie from Disney and 20th Century Studios, is getting a sequel, according to star Ryan Reynolds.

Tweeting in the wake of the film taking top spot at the global box office over the weekend, Reynolds – in typically droll fashion – appeared to confirm that Disney had greenlit a sequel.

A follow-up tweet from director Shawn Levy has all but confirmed that Free Guy 2 is on the way – but is a sequel really necessary?

On the surface, Disney would be silly not to sign off on a second Free Guy movie.

Despite rising concerns about the delta variant of Covid-19 (particularly in the US), Free Guy pulled in $51 million (per Variety) at the global box office during its opening weekend.

Free Guy's theatrical haul is intriguing for two reasons. First, it's already recouped half of its production costs in its first three days after release, which is an impressive monetary taking in the current climate, and places it in seventh place in America's top domestic opening weekends list since March 2020 (per Variety) with US takings of $28.4 million.

The second reason relates to Free Guy's theatrical-only release. Free Guy is the first Disney movie to launch solely in theaters for over 12 months and is the studio's first original film, which isn't a reboot or tied to a movie franchise, to debut exclusively in cinemas for three years. With the movie unavailable on streaming services, interested film fans will have had to go to the cinema to watch it.

Audiences, then, have responded well to Free Guy's arrival. Its theatrical-only release, originality (in terms of plot), all-star cast – including Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery and Taika Waititi – and ode to games, and the communities they create, suggests that viewers want future instalments involving Guy and the virtual universe that he inhabits.

Ryan Reynolds in 20th Century Studios movies Free Guy

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios/Disney)

The problem, though, is that a second Free Guy movie would be antithetical to the movie's albeit humorous marketing, as well as quotes from Levy, about the nature of follow-up films.

Free Guy's official trailer, which arrived in December 2019, mocked Disney (with the studio's consent) and its penchant for remaking its animated classics and turning them into live-action productions.

Meanwhile, Levy spoke to TechRadar (as part of a roundtable interview) ahead of Free Guy's release about the increasingly infrequent ability for directors to make big budget, original movies.

"[Free Guy] is the only original event movie of the whole summer; everything else is a sequel or an IP title," Levy said. "Getting to make a $100 million event movie in 2021 is increasingly rare, and we're very grateful for that. So our hope is audiences will embrace the new because, if they don't, we stop getting the chance to make new movies."

Of course, Levy and company will be delighted with the positive critical response to Free Guy, as well as its box office haul and Disney's apparent decision to greenlight a sequel – although the studio is yet to say anything official about it yet.

Still, the prospect of a second Free Guy movie arguably goes against Levy's own desire for the creation of more original movies, which is shared by others involved in the film industry.

The Suicide Squad's James Gunn recently commented on the fact that he found certain movies in the superhero genre "boring", while industry experts including Box Office Pro's Shawn Robbins told Variety that "sometimes [audiences] just want something new."

Where does this leave Free Guy and its potential sequel? If a film like Free Guy is received positively by fans and critics, and it performs well at the box office, a follow-up is more than likely on the way.

Our view? Free Guy doesn't need a sequel. It would be better Free Guy remained a standalone movie but, ultimately, critical reception matters and, more importantly, money talks – so one is sure to arrive whether it's necessary or not.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

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