Keanu Reeves is one of the most well-respected and down-to-earth actors in Hollywood. He is revered for his role in The Matrix (1999) and all of its sequels, as well as for films like Constantine (2005) and John Wick (2014). However, ahead of the latest Matrix revival, The Matrix Resurrections (2021), Vanity Fair reported that Keanu Reeves’ career could have taken a different trajectory entirely. Instead of portraying Neo in the Wachowski’s The Matrix films, he could have instead been cast in one of their earlier scripts as the wacky tree-hugging superhero Plastic Man.
Rumors that the Wachowski siblings were developing a script about Plastic Man and intending to cast Keanu Reeves as the titular hero stemmed from reports that surfaced back in 2008. In an archived article on Vulture, the publication reported that a gentleman on a German news program had suggested that back in 1996, prior to making The Matrix, the filmmakers were focused on crafting a Plastic Man script. Allegedly the unknown German gentlemen said that the role was intended for Keanu Reeves.
While it would have been interesting to see how Keanu Reeves’ career would have turned out if a Plastic Man film was made and he did indeed up getting cast, it is unlikely that that would have happened. When Keanu Reeves was asked directly about whether this rumor was true he denied it with a clever philosophical phrase. He stated,“[It’s] not true for me. It might be true for other people, but I haven’t heard anything about it.”
It’s unlikely that the Wachowski siblings intended for Keanu Reeves to portray Plastic Man. However, it is true that they were developing a script based on the superhero character back in 1996. They disclosed, in a rare interview with MTV that they did the same year the rumors surfaced, that it was a script they had been writing, but that it had never come to fruition.
Keanu Reeves might have never gotten to don the title of Plastic Man, however, the good-natured actor is known for his real-life heroism. One might not know it because he generally refuses to attach his name to his philanthropic endeavors, but Keanu Reeves is deeply involved with charitable organizations. In fact, he even developed his very own organization so that he could act as a direct facilitator in helping children’s hospitals.
Hopes that Keanu Reeves will get to portray a superhero on screen have not completely dissipated either, they actually are just ramping up. Reeves has been helping to develop a story for the comic book character called BRZRKR. He developed the concept for the character himself, a concept that he later presented in a pitch to Boom! Studios, who ultimately decided to publish his stories and will release as a set of four books. However, the buzz generated by Keanu Reeve’s character reached Netflix’s ears and the streaming giant now has plans to adapt the unique comic book creation for a film. The exact plot details for the character are not known as of yet, however, it has been confirmed that Keanu Reeves will star in his original anthology series.