As most movies vacate 2020, Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy is sticking with it. A new trailer dropped yesterday, doubling down on the movie’s December 11 release date. Interestingly, there is no “Only in theaters” tag, which suggests that whatever happened with Mulan, Disney might not be over the direct-to-streaming strategy, especially as Free Guy is not a $200 million movie and the threshold to success is much lower and VOD-friendly. We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but Disney is trying stuff in this pandemic, and they need money, so I bet we see a flexible release plan here, assuming theater owners allow it.
As for the movie itself, it still looks right out of the Ryan Reynolds playbook, but I enjoy the bit of Jodie Comer we get to see, mouthing along to Mariah Carey. I also like that moment with Lil Rel Howery and Reynolds—named Buddy and Guy, heh—Lil Rel can sell any concept, no matter how bonkers. And Taika Waititi is the bad guy! That could be fun, he seems the type to really go to town playing a villain. I don’t think Free Guy looks “go out in a pandemic” good, but it looks “rent at home” decent. I cannot wait to find out what Disney’s release strategy really is with this one. With Cineworld/Regal Cinemas closed, it’s starting to look like AMC and Cinemark might follow suit, and then what is the point of keeping a movie with a December 2020 release date unless you’re going to make it on demand?