Alex Trebek died in November 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, but fans will be able to see him in a posthumous appearance on the big screen in Ryan Reynolds' upcoming movie Free Guy. The late Jeopardy! host filmed a small cameo in the movie before his death, and Reynolds told E! News' Daily Pop that the two became friends before Trebek passed away.
"Even right up before shortly before he passed away, I talked to him on the phone about a charity initiative he was trying to launch," Reynolds recalled. "This guy was really made of good stuff right until the end. Having him in the movie is certainly bittersweet, that's for sure." The Canadian star shared that Trebek's cameo in Free Guy was filmed after the movie "had been completely done and dusted and completed."
"Alex was kind enough to jump in and do this little cameo for us," Reynolds said. "I was just so blown away by how sweet he was to do that." Free Guy stars Reynolds as a bank teller whose life is completely changed when he learns that he is simply a background player in the open-world video game Free City and must become the hero who keeps it from going offline.
"I would say it's probably my favorite movie I've ever done, mostly because I grew up watching Amblin movies about wish fulfillment," the actor shared. "I just feel like the last few years have been so hard on so many people, not just in this country but all over the world. It's great working on and being a part of a movie that is just this unabashed ball of joy."
The movie is one of the few films Disney has released in recent years that has not been part of an ongoing franchise. "I just thought it was such a privilege to be able to do a blockbuster type of movie that's an action-comedy-fantasy movie that was non IP," Reynolds recently told Collider and other media. "These days, everything is a sequel. Everything is based on a comic book. Everything is based on a character everyone already knows. So, to be a part of an experience in the cinema that is new and original was unthinkable, a few years ago. So, to be a part of that is pretty exciting."
Free Guy premieres in theaters on Aug. 13. Unlike recent releases, Disney will not simultaneously release the film to streaming services.