Keanu Reeves has a reputation for moving in and out of fashion. Over nearly forty years, his roles have crossed genres as diverse as cult humor, gothic horror, and action science fiction. Whenever it’s looked like he’s fallen off the radar, a high-profile film has helped push his popularity back up. Those have included the enormously successful Speed (1994), The Matrix (1999), and John Wick (2014).
But it’s not quite right to see Reeves as one of Hollywood’s great comeback kids. He has often pursued careers outside of acting during those quieter spells, including as a producer, writer, and musician.
When he turned down an estimated $12 million for Speed 2 in the mid-90s, a report suggested that Reeves had chosen time with his band Dogstar instead. In fact, an upcoming tour was only one of the reasons. On the back of actioner Chain Reaction and having reservations about the sequel’s script, Reeves showed that he could stick to his decisions, even if it hurt his relationship with studio 20th Century Fox.
His last major resurgence with the John Wick action franchise is set to continue as Reeves returns to the Matrix universe almost 20 years after the original trilogy ended. Rather than being a comeback kid, his success as an actor increasingly looks like a series of well-thought-out career moves.
How Much Is Keanu Reeves Worth?
After picking up $3000 for his film debut in 1986’s Youngblood, Keanu Reeves earned $95,000 for his role in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure three years later. The $1.2 million he received for Speed had risen to $8 million by the time he made The Devil’s Advocate in 1997.
At the turn of the century, The Matrix marked a salary high. Earnings for the original trilogy are estimated to have made Reeves over $100 million. This helped Reeves ascend to a net worth of approximately $360 million as of 2021.
However, many stories show that he prioritizes the success of projects over money. There are reports of Reeves sacrificing salary to help budgets afford co-stars. He also redirected his share of the Matrix sequels’ profits to the films’ visual effects and costume departments to acknowledge their contributions to the films’ success.
Reeves’ career shows no signs of slowing down as it continues to diversify and his reputation as one of Hollywood’s nice guys grows.