Keanu Reeves is aiming to take his talents to the small screen. Slingshot Global Media announced today that Reeves is attached to star in and executive produce Rain, a TV series adaptation of author Barry Eisler’s John Rain book series. Described as “a globe-trotting action drama”, the story revolves around a half-Japanese, half-American assassin who specializes in making his marks look like they died from natural causes. The first John Rain book, A Clean Kill in Tokyo, was published in 2002 and was followed by six more novels in the series, with another on the way. This is Reeves’ first major starring role in a TV show, and the press release notes that Rain is planned as “limited-run programming”.
Rain isn’t yet set up at a network, and one imagines today’s press release was an effort to drum up interest as Slingshot Global Media sets out to shop the potential series to a number of different outlets. There’s no guarantee the show will actually come to fruition, but it could be an interesting series with Reeves in the lead. Read the full press release after the jump.
LOS ANGELES, CA (August XX, 2014) – Slingshot Global Media announced today that Keanu Reeves is attached to executive produce and star in the television series, Rain, based on the New York Times best-selling book series written by Barry Eisler. Chad Stahelski and David Leitch will produce alongside Eisler. Slingshot Global Media will executive produce and distribute the show.
“We are extremely excited to be working on a beloved property with such a talented and hard-working actor as Keanu,” said Ellender. “This series will be the launch pad for the company and highlight our talent-focused, quality-based approach within the ever-changing and expanding television space.”
The show fits well within the new company’s objective of working closely with talent to develop series and limited-run programming for both traditional broadcast and cable networks, in addition to on demand options and premium pay services.
The show will be a globe-trotting action drama featuring the lead character, “John Rain,” a half-Japanese, half-American contract assassin who specializes in taking out his targets by making it look like death by natural causes. An outsider in whatever world he’s in, Rain ironically finds that the one identity he knows – that of being a hitman – is the very thing that prevents himfrom bringing others closer into his life. The show’s source material will be based on Eisler’s series of novels featuring Rain, including A Clean Kill in Tokyo, A Lonely Resurrection, Winner Take All, Redemption Games, Extremis, The Killer Ascendant, The Detachment, and Graveyard of Memories.
Reeves broke out as an actor with notable roles in films such as Dangerous Liaisons, Parenthood, Point Break, and Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho, opposite River Phoenix. He first gained mainstream attention playing the role of “Ted Logan” in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which became a cultural phenomenon. He later went on to become an action star with the box office hit Speed, in addition to the Matrix franchise. Reeves’ career choices over the next two decades proved his versatility as an actor, with films such as The Devil’s Advocate, Much Ado About Nothing, A Walk in the Clouds, Constantine, The Lake House, A Scanner Darkly, and Something’s Gotta Give. Most recently, Reeves made his directorial debut with the critically well-received Man of Tai Chi. He also stars in the upcoming John Wick, directed by Stahelski and Leitch.
Rain will be Reeves’ first major starring and producing role in a television series, and Slingshot’s first officially announced project since the company formed in February. The show fits well within the new company’s objective of working closely with talent to develop series and limited-run programming for both traditional broadcast and cable networks, in addition to on demand options and premium pay services.
“As a huge fan of Barry’s work, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring his iconic character and incredible world to life,” said Reeves. “I’m looking forward to partnering with Slingshot on my first series, and reteaming with Chad and David.”