When you saw that a movie was coming out called ‘Keanu,’ you immediately thought of Keanu Reeves — well now, he’s part of it.
Keanu director Peter Atencio wasn’t positive about Keanu Reeves being part of the film, since it is similar to Keanu (the actor)’s movie John Wick — which was all about him hunting down the man who killed his puppy. However, they finally did agree to reach out, Peter revealed in a new interview, an offer that his team politely declined . . . at first.
“Then we got a call after the trailer came out; apparently, his sister showed him the trailer and said, ‘Hey, you gotta see this. You’re gonna love this,'” Peter told The LA Times. “He flipped out and got in touch with us directly to say, ‘If there’s anything I can do, let’s make this work.'”
Unfortunately at that point, the film had already been nearly finished and about to premiere at SXSW. So what do you do? Well, if you’re Peter, Jordan Peele, and Keegan-Michael Key, you expand the movie.
“We had a scene in the movie where Peele’s character is on a drug trip, and a cat kind of leads him through his hallucinations,” he said. “We wanted to expand on that anyway, so we thought he could do the voiceover for the cat in that scene.”
Ironically, Keanu (the person) was in Italy filming the sequel to John Wick, when it was time for him to record his part. So, he headed into a studio and Peter got on Skype with him and guided him through about an hour of dialogue.
“They hooked it up so that I could talk and he could hear it in his headphones. The studio [Warner Bros.] was wanting him to drop a bunch of references to his old movies. But we didn’t want to make it overt or too pointed,” Peter said. “We don’t want him to do, like, his ‘Bill and Ted’ voice and beat you over the head with it. And he had great ideas for lines. He was having fun with it.”
As for why the cat is named after Keanu, well you won’t find out in the movie. “The cat was named after him as an act of love for his movies, and especially the kind of movies that he makes,” Peter added. “He has become an iconic movie star on a level that most people don’t ever attain.”
Keanu hits theaters this Friday.