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The Story Behind Free Guy's Iconic '90s Theme Song

After a few false starts, the sci-fi action comedy "Free Guy" is just days away from its August 13 release date. The high-octane film from director Shawn Levy promises lots of shoot-outs, explosions, and laughs, and stars Ryan Reynolds as a video game NPC who takes on the role of the hero.

The trailer for "Free Guy" shows a lot of what audiences can expect in the movie, including video game violence and some heart-pounding action sequences. But what stands out in the sneak peek is Reynolds' trademark humor, as his character walks through the streets nonchalantly sipping a drink while chaos swirls around him. A man is thrown through a glass window at Reynolds feet, yet appears totally unharmed as Reynolds helps him up and remarks, "Mondays, am I right, Joe?"

Another stand-out of the "Free Guy" trailer is the use of an iconic song from the 1990s, Mariah Carey's "Fantasy." The catchy tune plays as Reynolds' character, Guy, goes about his daily routine with a smile on his face and a skip in his step. The use of the 1993 hit single from one of America's greatest recording artists was no accident — in fact, the movie's writers originally had another song in mind.

Using "Fantasy" was Ryan Reynolds' brilliant idea

During the August 3 presser for "Free Guy," the cast and crew sat down to talk about the new film and answer some probing questions. When the panel's host gave their prediction that the song "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey could make a big comeback thanks to the movie, they asked director Shawn Levy about the choice to put the song into the film. Levy revealed that it was Ryan Reynolds who suggested the use of Carey's "Fantasy," and affectionately dubbed Reynolds a "maestro of the odd random, but inspired, song idea."

Levy elaborated by saying, "Early on, when we were working on the script, Ryan's like, 'You know what I think should be the anthem of this entire movie and marketing campaign?' And he suggested the song by Mariah." Levy went on to reveal that in the movie's third act, the cover of the song is sung by Jodie Comer, who plays Millie, AKA Molotov Girl.

Apparently, "Fantasy" was not the first choice for the "Free Guy" theme song, and the screenwriters had a very different pop hit from the 1980s in mind. "In the earliest draft, [we'd written in] The Outfield's 'Your Love,'" Reynolds revealed. "It ended up, just, not fitting right . . . but then Mariah Carey's 'Fantasy' just came like a lightning bolt and [it was like] an engine for so much of the movie."

it looks like Carey's "Fantasy" has its own big role to play and is more than just a catchy '90s callback for the "Free Guy" trailer. Audiences can see for themselves just how much impact the song has in the movie when "Free Guy" releases on August 13.