Since making his screen debut all the way back in 1984, Keanu Reeves has appeared in almost every imaginable genre. While he holds a well-earned reputation as one of the modern era’s greatest action stars after headlining Point Break, Speed and the John Wick series, he’s always seemed to have a soft spot for sci-fi.
As well as starring in three Bill & Ted movies spanning over 30 years, the internet’s favorite actor also donned Neo’s leather and sunglasses combo for The Matrix trilogy, with the fourth installment having wrapped shooting last month before releasing on HBO Max and in theaters in December of next year. That’s seven sci-fi efforts between those two brands alone, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Admittedly, Johnny Mnemonic, Chain Reaction and Replicas were all pretty dire, Scott Derrickson’s The Day the Earth Stood Still remake was incredibly uninspired, Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly bombed at the box office and the developers of Cyberpunk 2077 are already offering refunds and apologies less than a week after the game launched, but Reeves was hardly the biggest problem in any of those aforementioned projects.
In a recent interview, the 56 year-old explained why he constantly finds himself drawn into the realms of sci-fi, and a lot of it dates back to his younger days and the material he grew up reading, an affection he’s carried throughout his adult life.
“Yeah, I’m curious about the future and I think growing up on William Gibson and Neuromancer, and reading Philip K. Dick, even Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Watching Road Warriors, Mad Max, Bladerunner. Even Planet of the Apes. Reading Lord of the Rings. Exploration of fantasy, science fiction. I dunno, I just feel the motifs that occur in this kind of storytelling is oftentimes examining the world that we live in. for me there was something aspirational or supportive in participating in these stories that gave me escapism, but also helped me define my world view and interpret the world.”
Keanu Reeves and sci-fi can be pretty hit or miss, and fans will be hoping that The Matrix 4 is very much the former, especially with eighteen years passing between Revolutions and Lana Wachowski’s reinvention of the mythology. Meanwhile, the less said about Cyberpunk 2077 at this stage the better, after the game split opinion straight down the middle.