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Keanu Reeves reveals he rejected two roles in $6B movie franchise

Keanu Reeves was considered for the villainous Eteon Director in 'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw' and also for agency leader Aimes in 'Fast X'
UPDATED MAY 24, 2023
Keanu Reeves passed up on two fims from the 'Fast and Furious' franchise (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Keanu Reeves passed up on two fims from the 'Fast and Furious' franchise (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Keanu Reeves, renowned for his role in 'John Wick: Chapter 4', made the decision to pass on not one, but two installments of the 'Fast & Furious' franchise. Despite being a perennial favorite among fans, the 58-year-old actor declined the opportunity to portray Aimes, the new leader of The Agency, who deceitfully aligns with the vengeful terrorist Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa) to betray Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) in the latest 'Fast X' film.

Reeves' decision adds an intriguing twist to the franchise's casting choices. Aimes, now played by Alan Ritchson, told EW, "It was just a little stroke of luck and good timing." He revealed, "I was working on a movie with Hilary Swank up in Winnipeg in the freezing cold, and I got a call that things had shifted in the plans with Keanu Reeves, which is I think who was originally intended to play my part. Tough act to follow."


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'I thought it was over before it began'

Despite successfully securing the role, the 40-year-old actor encountered numerous challenges related to timing that almost prevented him from joining the set. "Basically the deal was if there's no problems, we don't shut down for COVID or weather, this should work," the action star recalled. "And about two weeks later, we got news that we were going to get hit with the biggest blizzard in Winnipeg's history. All production shut down. It was disheartening. I thought it was over before it began, but luckily we worked it out and they were able to push the dates a little more."

Alan Ritchson attends the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards at Allegiant Stadium on March 07, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Alan Ritchson plays the character Aimes in the new 'Fast X' movie (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

'I look forward to working with Keanu on something hopefully'

Interestingly, Reeves was initially considered for the role of the villainous Eteon Director, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, in 'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw'. However, due to timing constraints, the opportunity did not align with his schedule. "I did talk to Keanu about being in the film," director David Leitch told 'The Fourth Wall' podcast in 2019, according to The Playlist.

"It just wasn't the right time when he was doing things. We've been talking about it for a long time, and I wasn't sure in what capacity. It was early on, and it kept lingering. Even though editorial, I was thinking of ideas if he was interested and he wanted to be seated in this world how we could do it. So, it really just came down to things he wanted to do and everybody's schedule. It didn't work out on this one, but I look forward to working with Keanu on something hopefully," he said.

Keanu Reeves speaks onstage at Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves passed up on two Fast and Furious movies (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Louis Leterrier's 10th installment of the 'Fast and Furious' franchise has managed to recoup $318.9 million of its $340 million budget worldwide at the box office, despite receiving a lackluster 54% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes based on 235 reviews.