Does ‘John Wick’ and ‘The Matrix’ Star Keanu Reeves Owe His Career to Will Smith?

by Jeremy Spirogis
Keanu Reeves at a

Keanu Reeves is without doubt one of the most recognizable actors on this planet today. He’s additionally turn out to be an unlikely motion star. Few who noticed him star in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure within the early 90s may have predicted that destiny for Reeves, nevertheless it occurred.

Reeves is the star of two of the good motion franchises of all time: the John Wick sequence and The Matrix films. But do you know that a number of very well-known actors may have been Neo as a substitute, altering the form of Reeves’ profession? 

What Keanu Reeves is understood for to today’s audiences

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Reeves has had a protracted, fruitful profession in Hollywood. Movies he’s been the lead in have grossed a whopping $3.eight billion worldwide, in accordance with

He’s nonetheless on high of his sport today. Since 2014, he’s starred in three movies within the John Wick sequence. In these films, he performs a just lately retired murderer who’s pushed to return to his previous life.

The movies are strikingly easy of their plots however intricate of their battle choreography. They’re breathtaking achievements within the motion realm. 

At the middle of all of it is Reeves, who’s monotone, virtually robotic depiction of the character is note-perfect. It’s laborious to think about anybody else within the function, and Reeves has been wildly profitable.

While his profession was going superb earlier than the Wick films, it positively helped elevate his profession but once more. But that is removed from the primary time Reeves has discovered himself because the first-billed individual in a film or perhaps a franchise. 

How the Matrix skyrocketed Keanu Reeves to superstardom

Keanu Reeves at a 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum' screening
Keanu Reeves | ROBYN BECK/AFP through Getty Images

RELATED: Keanu Reeves’s Favorite Movie Is Not ‘The Matrix,’ ‘Speed,’ or ‘John Wick’

In the late 90s, Reeves was positively a star. He’d headlined a number of movies and appeared in lots of extra. His most notable function to that time was the motion blockbuster Speed, the place he performed a cop attempting to cease a bus loaded with a bomb that couldn’t drop beneath 50 miles per hour.

Earlier within the decade, Reeves had already starred in Point Break, an motion drama by which he co-headlined with Patrick Swayze. 

Reeves wasn’t a no person at this level, however he additionally wasn’t a family title. To transfer him to the highest of the A-List, to the purpose the place he’d be past reproach, he’d have to star in a blockbuster so large nobody may doubt him afterward. The Matrix was that property.

The Wachowskis forged Reeves as Neo. After the primary movie was a smashing success on the field workplace, they made two subsequent sequels. While the sequels didn’t reside as much as the identical essential repute as the primary, they have been successful with audiences.

Starring as Neo, Reeves had turn out to be iconic. It’s the function that formed his profession going ahead. It enabled him to get much more lead components. But it got here dangerously near going to a different actor. 

Does Keanu Reeves owe his profession to Will Smith?

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It’s not laborious to think about Reeves being profitable with out taking part in Neo. It’s laborious to think about him being this profitable with out the Matrix films, nonetheless. That’s why Reeves is fortunate that Will Smith handed on the function. Brad Pitt was additionally provided the function and turned it down. 

Make no mistake: Smith is a bona fide film star and likewise an ideal actor. Most would most likely argue that he’s doubtless even a greater actor than Reeves. But that doesn’t imply he would have been higher as Neo.

Something about Reeves’ appearing model appeared to lend itself to Neo’s character. As good as Smith is, he’s received a particular look and character that bleeds into all of his roles. While seeing his tackle Neo would have been very attention-grabbing, it doesn’t seem to be he may’ve topped Reeves’ take. 

Reeves must ship Smith a fruit basket for turning down the function of Neo. It’s the transfer that actually modified the panorama of each males’s careers.

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