Keanu Reeves is one of the biggest Hollywood stars that is consistently rumored to be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Keanu himself is certainly open to it.
But what role could Reeves be a great fit for? Perhaps a certain hunter or the second Spirit of Vengeance? The leader of the Fantastic Four or the X-Men’s resident mutant berserker? Read on for the details and possibilities below.
In Marvel’s sights for some time
Keanu Reeves has been one of the most popular and successful genre actors of his generation. He has even returned to his most popular roles, with 2020’s Bill and Ted: Face the Music and the upcoming The Matrix Resurrections. Reeves has also played Johnny Silverhand for Cyberpunk 2077.
More than the roles he plays, Reeves is famed for being an overall good guy, being recognized as one of the nicest celebrities in Hollywood. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Marvel Studios has long been keeping an eye out for casting Reeves in a superhero role over the years.
— MCU - The Direct (@MCU_Direct) June 19, 2019
In an interview with Comicbook.com back in 2019, Marvel Studios president and head of creative development Kevin Feige confirmed they have had talks with Keanu Reeves. Multiple times, in fact:
We talk to him for almost every film we make. We talk to Keanu Reeves about. I don't know when, if, or ever he'll join the MCU, but we very much want to figure out the right way to do it.
Feige and Marvel Studios have done this with a similarly sought after actors. One such actor was Jeff Goldblum, who eventually played En Dwi Gast, aka the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Goldblum brought his signature quirkiness and deadpan comedic timing to the Elder of the Universe that lorded over the gladiatorial world of Sakaar.
Another example is Jake Gyllenhaal who was also wooed for a period of time until the right role came up, which inevitably led to the actor playing Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019). But while the perfect role for Gyllenhaal has come and gone, the role to convince Keanu Reeves to officially join the MCU has remained elusive.
In fact, Reeves was very close to playing a role in 2019’s Captain Marvel. However, due to the scheduling conflicts with John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, the role of Kree commander Yon Rogg, mentor and rival to Carol Danvers (played by Brie Larson), was given to Jude Law.
Closer to making it happen
While Keanu Reeves joining the MCU has been an elusive goal in the ensuing years since the MCU began with the first Iron Man in 2008, the actor may have just dropped hints that it is closer than ever from happening.
In a recent interview with Esquire, Reeves addressed the question posed by the fandom about joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
Keanu Reeves says 'it would be an honor' to join the MCU
'They're doing something no one's really ever done... It would be cool to be a part of that'
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) November 22, 2021
Isn't it bigger than a universe? It's almost like a Multiverse. It's a Marvel-verse. It would be an honor. There's some really amazing directors and visionaries, and they're doing something that no one's really ever done. It's special in that sense, in terms of the scale, the ambition, the production. So it would be cool to be a part of that.
With the near-miss from the Captain Marvel film and with this new statement from Reeves, the likelihood of the actor playing a role in the MCU is as close as it has ever been. But with how expansive the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown since 2019, which role could he best portray?
Casting rumors and possibilities
Aside from the Captain Marvel role, Reeves has had other potential MCU roles attached to him at one point or another.
Back in 2020, it was reported that Reeves was very interested to play Marc Spector aka The Moon Knight.
— ComicBook.com (@ComicBook) September 25, 2020
With the complex multiple personality disorder that is inherent to the character, it would have certainly been an interesting challenge for any actor. However, the role ultimately went to Oscar Isaac, who will be starring as the titular hero in a Disney+ exclusive series sometime in 2022.
Another MCU role that was attached to Keanu Reeves was as Kraven the Hunter. Kraven was supposedly going to play a villain in an upcoming Spider-Man film as part of the Tom Holland-led entries that are collaborations between Marvel Studios/Disney and Sony. The character would then spin off into his own film with the Spider-Verse being developed by Sony as its own cinematic universe. However, it was reported in February 2021 that Reeves passed on the option of starring as Kraven.
— ComicBook.com (@ComicBook) February 12, 2021
Still another role that fans have been suggesting for Keanu Reeves is that of Galactus’s former herald, the Silver Surfer. Reeves is not the only actor that has been often pointed as perfect for the role of Norrin Radd. Henry Cavill has also been posed as a great fit for the Sentinel of the Skyways, along with Captain Britain. While nothing has been confirmed, it would be oddly fitting for Reeves to take on the Silver Surfer role as the previous live action version was voiced by Lawrence Fishburne (Morpheus in the previous Matrix trilogy) in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).
On that note and not moving away from the Fantastic Four, another role that would be a perfect fit for Keanu Reeves is Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, which was previously portrayed by Ioan Gruffud (2005 and 2007) and Miles Teller (2015), respectively.
— Newsarama (@Newsarama) June 19, 2019
The leader of the Fantastic Four is one that is surprisingly complex, with his aloofness and total dedication to scientific discovery and adventure, while juggling his role as husband and father. It has also been revealed in the comics that Richards is possibly a high-performing autistic person, something that has not been fully explored in his portrayals. Other names that have been attached to the role include Orlando Bloom, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and John Krasinski.
Another high profile role that might have Keanu Reeves’s name on it is Ghost Rider. But not as Johnny Blaze, which was previously played by Nicolas Cage in the 2007 film and its 2011 sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Instead, Reeves could play his successor and half-brother Danny Ketch. Ketch’s version of Ghost Rider is actually what brought the character into mainstream popularity from his debut in May 1990.
Unlike Johnny Blaze who made a deal with the Devil (or Mephisto) and forced to bond with the demon Zarathos, Ketch was a reluctant hero bonded with Noble Kale, an ancestor given the task of becoming the Spirit of Vengeance by the angel Zadkiel. It is a different dynamic and Danny Ketch has a similar vibe to Reeves’s previous roles as Neo or John Constantine. On that note, the Danny Ketch/Ghost Rider role has also been attached to another popular actor, The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus.
BRZRKR to Berzerker?
One final possibility that fans would like to see Keanu Reeves take on in the MCU is the X-Men’s savage fighter, Wolverine. It’s interesting to note that Keanu Reeves actually has written a comic book titled BRZRKR from Boom! Studios. The character is an immortal warrior that regenerates his wounds. Sounds familiar?
Keanu Reeves to Star in and Produce ‘Brzrkr’ Live-Action Film and Anime Series for Netflix https://t.co/rAogKepXjI
— Variety (@Variety) March 22, 2021
Reeves has stated he once wished to play the Frank Miller version of Wolverine. He has already negotiated to produce and star in a live-action film and anime series of BRZRKR for the Netflix streaming service.
For now, we can catch Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Resurrections. Co-starring Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jada Pinkett Smith, Christina Ricci, Telma Hopkins, Toby Onwumere, Eréndira Ibarra, Max Riemelt, and Brian J. Smith. The newest entry in the Matrix saga arrives on HBO Max and in theaters on the same day, December 22, 2021.