The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences, and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Shawn Levy, the director and producer whose latest, the Ryan Reynolds-Jodie Comer starrer Free Guy opens today in theaters. Levy came to Hollywood by way of Canada. He began as the leader of a group of teens in the 1986 low budget horror film Zombie Nightmare, and played parts in the series 21 Jump Street, Beverly Hills 90210 and 30 Rock. He moved behind the camera and after directing the hit Big Fat Liar, Levy put together a string of successes that include Cheaper By The Dozen, Date Night, Real Steel, and the Night at the Museum films. He is also a prolific producer through his 21 Laps banner, earning an Oscar nomination for the Denis Villenueve-directed Arrival, and TV series that include Stranger Things. That smash hit prompted Netflix to make a four year overall deal with Levy to create TV projects. Here he explains the spark that lit the creative fuse for the multi-hyphenate.