In Twentieth Century Studios’ epic adventure-comedy “Free Guy,” a bank teller discovers he’s actually a non-playable character in a brutal open-world video game, so he does what any logical NPC would do: he rewrites the story and becomes the hero. Now in a world run amok where there are no limits, he’s determined to be the guy to save his own world—his way—before time runs out.

ILM’s work on Shawn Levy’s Free Guy was overseen by visual effects supervisors Paolo Acri and Russel Earl, where they rose to the challenge of bringing a veritable toybox of references to life from across movies and video games. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll find nods to both Star Wars and the MCU, and even Halo and Fortnite. 

In addition to crafting (and destroying) buildings and environments, ILM was also tasked with rapidly prototyping a bevy of diverse assets for the film: including hero digi-doubles, vehicles, and everything in-between; of course, by “in-between”, we’re talking about dragons, centaurs, mecha-walkers, and unicorns. Another exciting challenge that ILM tackled were the dazzling portal effects for the film, building them up from multiple layers of sims to create an end-effect that looked brilliant in both darkness and in light.


Shawn Levy
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor
Paolo Acri
Russel Earl
ILM Visual Effects Producer
Laurence Berkani
Josiane Fradette
ILM Executive Visual Effects Producer
Luke O'Byrne