2. As for the initial idea that jumpstarted this, Lieberman said, “What if you have the cheat codes to life? What if you could walk around and see power-ups? Oh, then you would be in Grand Theft Auto.”
4. The draft was written in around three weeks in 2016 and generated lots of interest in Hollywood. After remaining in cold storage for some time, Fox ended up buying it.
5. Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential elections was responsible for putting the script in cold storage.
7. Guy was a cynical character in the original script. Reynolds changed him into a satisfied-with-his-life character. According to him, “Why do we put up with this? Guy should be happy where he is.”
8. The second major change that Reynolds made to the script was the addition of Dude (Guy 2.0) to the movie.
9. Around 80% of the lines of Antwan (Taika Waititi) didn't make it to the screen. He improvised most of his lines.
10. In the original script, Guy and Millie/Molotov Girl stay together till the end. It was here that Zak Penn stepped in and changed the ending, which finally made it to the big screen.
11. This is Zak Penn's second movie that is centered on a video game. The first was Ready Player One.
13. Trebek's cameo was born in the editing room after the shooting was over. Levy asked himself how he could "make it clear that Blue Shirt Guy has gone viral and is now known in the culture.”
14. Most of the action taking place in the background while Reynolds and/or Comer are walking and talking is totally real and not CGI.
15. Shawn Levy was first offered the movie in 2016 but refused to direct it, as he felt that someone with a gaming background would be more suited for the job.
16. It was Hugh Jackman who introduced Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy to each other, which resulted in this collaboration.
17. Years later Ryan Reynolds approached Levy with the script, completely unaware that Levy had previously passed on the same movie.
18. The experience of watching Back to the Future was what motivated both Reynolds and Levy to make this movie.
19. Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer had never met each other before this movie. The first time they met each other was when Comer came for the audition.
21. In an interview, Ryan Reynolds revealed that "Molotov Girl's silhouette and look was based on Bonnie Parker," the female half of the murderous duo Bonnie and Clyde.
22. Molotov Girl's character was initially written as a "kind of punk rock, nondescript sort of goth character." It was changed later because it felt dated.
23. Comer went for the audition right after she finished shooting for Killing Eve Season 3. "I'd just wrapped Killing Eve Season 3 the night before. Flew to New York in the morning," Comer said in an interview.
24. It was the Disney-Fox merger that made it possible for the movie to pack oodles of surprises and cameos. The production team literally wrote a letter addressed to Disney stating, "Dear Sir and Madams, would you give us the privilege of using this or this or this?"
26. Both Shawn Levy and Ryan Reynolds stay in New York and would commute on an Amtrak train between Boston and New York. A lot of rewrite happened on this commute.
27. Comer was given a PlayStation 4 before the shooting started to prepare for her role. She did play some games on it but found it very stressful, as she "would take it way too seriously."
28. On her PlayStation 4, Comer played Spider-Man, GTA, and Red Dead Redemption 2. She didn't like GTA but absolutely loved Red Dead Redemption 2, which she would play with her dad.
29. Comer was obsessed with The Sims while growing up. The Sims is one of the games that directly influenced Free Guy.
31. The stunt for the scene where Guy smashes through the window on a motorbike and then slides along with the bike was performed by Reynolds himself. And he did it thrice!
32. The scene where Taika Waititi's character makes fun of exploit-the-IP culture was written by Levy and was a deliberate commentary on Hollywood's "addiction to IP."
33. In order to make it easier to differentiate between the game world and the real world, they were shot with different types of cameras and lenses.
The virtual world of the game was shot with a large-format camera fitted with spherical lenses, while the real world was shot with multiple camera types and anamorphic lenses. Even the color scheme was markedly different, with the game world being richly colored while the real world was "five different shades of grey and very murky."