Acclaimed actor and director Taika Waititi joins the cast of Free Guy, a video game-inspired action/comedy movie starring Ryan Reynolds. While Waititi’s work both on and offscreen in his films What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople earned raves from many, it wasn’t until he entered the MCU with 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok that Waititi finally became a household name. Not only did he helm the hysterically funny and endlessly thrilling Thor threequel, Waititi also played the hilarious supporting character Korg, now an MCU favorite.
Waititi might be generally more well-known for his work as a filmmaker at this point, but that shouldn’t take away from just how talented a comedic performer he is as well. Any film cast would be lucky to have him, as Waititi’s versatility and willingness to get crazy for the sake of getting laughs makes him a comedic weapon capable of being deployed in just about any way a director might desire to do so.Now, as reported by Collider, Waititi has joined the cast of Free Guy, a 20th Century Fox action/comedy directed by Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy. Reynolds plays the titular Guy, a bank teller whose life is turned upside down when he discovers that he’s actually a character living within an open-world video game. The game will soon be shut down, and it’s up to the now self-aware Guy to stop it. Waititi plays the owner of the company that makes the game.
Amusingly, Waititi’s casting will lead to a rather dubious onscreen reunion with Reynolds, after both men appeared in the infamously underwhelming 2011 Green Lantern movie. Reynolds of course led that film as Hal Jordan, while Waititi played a supporting role as Ferris Aircraft engineer Thomas Kalmaku. A huge critical and commercial flop, Green Lantern is right up there with X-Men Origins: Wolverine on the list of projects Reynolds would probably rather weren’t on his resume. Thankfully, both went on to bigger and better things.
The premise of Free Guy is being frequently compared to The Truman Show, and it’s not hard to understand why. The idea of a video game character having to save his world from doom is also reminiscent of the Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph. Still, with Reynolds in the title role and Waititi backing him up – along with other great supporting players like Stranger Things’ Joe Keery and Get Out’s Lil Rel Howery – Free Guy seems like it has a good shot of leveling up above its contemporaries.