Reboots, remakes, and revivals are all the rage and, spoiler warning, that’s not about to end any time soon. Less than a year after Keanu Reeves returned to the iconic role of Neo in The Matrix Resurrections, a trusted and proven source has reached out to let Giant Freakin Robot know that The Matrix isn’t the only franchise Reeves is returning to. Reeves has signed on to the long-awaited sequel Speed 3, and as well as reprising the role of LAPD SWAT Officer Jack Traven, Reeves is boarding the project as a producer.
Reeves’ willingness to make Speed 3 likely shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Along with The Matrix Resurrections, the actor proved himself vulnerable to the pull of revivals with 2020’s Bill & Ted Face the Music. He’s also made it clear on several occasions that he adores the idea of returning to the titular role he first played in 2005’s Constantine.
It also makes sense that Keanu wants a role beyond just the lead actor for Speed 3. Reeves seems to have developed a new tendency for taking on more responsibility on his theatrical projects. For example, Reeves serves as producer — for the first time in the franchise — on the John Wick: Chapter 4. He’ll likewise serve as producer on the upcoming graphic novel adaptation BRZRKR.
Speed premiered in 1994 and cemented Keanu Reeves’ potential as an action star. While he’d starred in Point Break three years previous, that earlier film’s returns didn’t come close to Speed‘s worldwide gross of $350.5 million. Reeves gave a thumbs down to returning for the 1997 follow-up Speed 2: Cruise Control, and ultimately that worked in his favor for his prospects of returning for Speed 3. Jason Patric (The Lost Boys) replaced Reeves as a different character — Officer Alex Shaw — and met with crushing failure both in the box office and with the critics. Speed 2 made less than half the money of its predecessor, and its Rotten Tomatoes score is an embarrassing 4%.
One big question that will no doubt be on fans’ minds is whether or not Sandra Bullock will once again play Annie for Speed 3. Along with her role in the previous year’s Demolition Man, the first Speed helped put Bullock on the map. However, unlike Reeves she returned for the disastrous Speed 2: Cruise Control, and has since made it clear she regrets that film more than any other movie she’s made. Between that and the bad idea that was 2005’s Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, Bullock now seems to look at the very notion of sequels the same way Indiana Jones looks at snakes. But with Keanu Reeves back in the role of Jack Traven this time, Bullock might find herself more amenable.
There’s no word yet on the rest of the cast and crew for Speed 3. Jan de Bont directed both of the first Speed films though he’s approaching his eighties (though that certainly doesn’t seem to be stopping Ridley Scott). The first film was written by Graham Yost (Justified); while the sequel was co-written by De Bont, Randall McCormick (Titan A.E.), and Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me if You Can).