How Close Was Keanu Reeves to Being in ‘Hobbs & Shaw’?

     August 5, 2019

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Those who saw Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw were treated to a number of surprising A-list cameos in the film, but noticeably absent was Keanu Reeves. Rumors swirled during and after production that the John Wick star could be making a surprising appearance in the Fast & Furious spinoff, which seemed likely given that Reeves’ John Wick co-director David Leitch was at the helm of Hobbs & Shaw. Alas, there is no Keanu to be seen in the film.

So what’s the deal? Was this just a bad rumor that got around, or was Reeves pegged for a role that didn’t work out? As it turns out, this is one rumor that was largely true. Leitch revealed to THR that he was talking with Reeves throughout production about a role in Hobbs & Shaw, but ultimately it didn’t work out:

“It all stemmed from the fact that we had talked to Keanu early on. It was even before where we ended up with this draft. I had been talking to Keanu periodically through the shooting of it all and looking for opportunities of where it could be. I also wanted to make sure that it was enough — a real promise for something legitimate in the future — and wasn’t just a stunt casting role. We started to populate the movie with all these other personalities, and I just didn’t really think that we needed it, although I would’ve loved it. We even talked in post, and I showed him a rough cut of the movie. Then, we had conversations about ‘is there something here?’ We came to the conclusion of ‘let’s put a pin in it.’ I’m all for finding opportunities, but I also didn’t want to force anything.”

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Image via Lionsgate

So who would Reeves have played? The best guess is the director of Eteon who pulls the strings of Idris Elba’s villainous antagonist but who remains nameless, faceless, and mostly voiceless in the film. Leitch didn’t exactly confirm as much, but he did reveal why they decided to leave the Director character anonymous for now:

“The mystery at the end of the movie where the Eteon director is nameless and faceless seems perfect for our ending because we had so much story we’ve already told. The backstory with Brixton and Shaw, Hobbs reconnecting with Jonah (Cliff Curtis), Shaw reconnecting with Hattie, Locke’s relationship with Hobbs … Dinkley. There was just so much stuff, and we still had to resolve all the family threads. The mystery of what Eteon is and where it’s gonna go was left where it needed to be.”

It’s possible that Reeves was indeed pegged to play the role of the Director, but when Leitch and Co. decided they wanted to leave that mystery be for now, the idea of a Keanu cameo fell by the wayside. The good news is, the door is seemingly open for Reeves to step into that role in an eventual sequel, or possibly a different role. Regardless, Keanu Reeves in the Fast & Furious universe is a thing that needs to happen.

For more on Hobbs & Shaw, click on the links below:

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