The SpongeBob SquarePants franchise has always served up hilarious celebrity cameos – remember David Hasselhoff in the first film? – but the Bikini Bottom resident’s latest cinematic outing goes above and beyond. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which debuted on Paramount Plus on its launch day this past Thursday, features The Matrix and John Wick icon Keanu Reeves in maybe his weirdest role yet, a mystical tumbleweed named Sage.
You might’ve wondered if this character was written to be played by any celebrity and Reeves happened to be the one they got, but it turns out he was the only person who was ever considered for the part. While speaking to TVLine, writer/director Tim Hill revealed that he always intended for Reeves to appear in the pic, which was pretty optimistic as they hadn’t even begun discussions with the star before he wrote him into the script.
“When I wrote the character, I kept having Keanu in my head so I never really had another person that we were thinking about,” Hill said. “It was so lucky that he was like, ‘Sure, I’ll do that.’”
Hill went on to say that he and the team kept on acting like Reeves was a cert for the film even before he’d actually signed on, so it was a good thing the actor ended up being such a good sport and saying yes.
“We made little Keanu drawings so long before he actually agreed, he was kind of in the movie,” Hill said. “We had temp voices doing him and the momentum was too much.”
Reeves must be pretty thankful that he joined the first John Wick back in 2014, as those movies have catapulted him back onto the A-list over the last few years. Just in the past 12 months, he’s appeared in video game Cyberpunk 2077, returned as one of his most iconic characters in Bill and Ted Face the Music and shot The Matrix 4, which will resurrect Neo. He’s also set to reprise Wick at least two more times, while Reeves likewise plays the lead in incoming TV series Rain.
Portraying a tumbleweed spirit guide to SpongeBob SquarePants has got to rank up there with the highlights of his career, though, and you can catch Keanu Reeves in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run over on Paramount Plus right now.