Keanu Reeves can carry a franchise. That much is clear. He’s already been the lead in some of the bigger action franchises we’ve seen over the last couple of decades. But while one of his best movies got a sequel treatment, Reeves didn’t take part (probably correctly). There’s time to get him back in the mix though. Recent rumors are that Keanu Reeves could be coming back for Speed 3.
Speed 3 has had rumors around it for years and at times Keanu Reeves had expressed at least some interest in returning to his role as Jack Traven. But those never amounted to much and there had never been any credible reasons to think we were getting any more from the franchise. These recent rumors do have some legs though considering Disney now owns the rights to the film and clearly wants him back in the role.
Keanu Reeves returning for Speed 3 started picking up steam about a month ago when the original director Jan de Bont said he would return to the franchise if the “story was right”. This was the first step in getting some real traction in a possible continuation of the original’s story. That being said, de Bont said he wasn’t a huge fan of doing sequels, maybe stemming from the disappointment he had with Speed 2.
1994’s Speed was a critical (94% on the Tomatometer) and commercial ($350 millon box office on a $30 million budget) success. The story was intense and the action scenes tight. It kept you on the edge of your seat which was amazing considering most of it just involved a bus that couldn’t slow down. But the whole thing worked. Speed 2, on the other hand, was a total mess. Keanu Reeves backed out early and the ensuing film got crushed by critics (4%) and bombed in theaters as well. It spelled the end of any franchise aspirations.
Keanu Reeves returning for a sequel would breathe new life and generate a ton of excitement if he were to return to the character. As I said, the guy is just made to carry huge franchises. He’s set to reprise his Neo character in the upcoming Matrix 4 due out this year. Plus he’s got John Wick 4 in the works as well as Bill & Ted 4. These are all just massive films that score well with critics and audiences alike. It’s a testament to just how great he is on screen. The likable and subtle demeanor combined with his ability to pull off big bang action sequences would still work on the big screen in the Speed world.
While not official, it sure does seem like Keanu Reeves in a Speed 3 could be a real possibility. The studio looks like they want it to happen and are making the actor a priority in casting. If he gets back into the Jack Traven role, continuing that story, we could then officially forget the second one happened at all. So it would just be a win all around.