Off-camera, Keanu Reeves is known as the nicest guy in Hollywood. On-camera, the same holds true, as the likes of Sandra Bullock had a blast shooting alongside the legendary Matrix actor.
In order to get towards the top of the mountain, Keanu had to make some bold decisions, and one of them included turning down a major sequel. We’ll reveal why he said no and how it helped his career.
Keanu Reeves And Sandra Bullock Made A Classic With Speed
Back in 1994, Keanu Reeves struck gold thanks to Speed alongside Sandra Bullock. The film was a smash hit at the box office bringing in 350 million. In addition, it would turn into a cult-classic, still discussed today.
A major part of the film’s success was the obvious chemistry between Reeves and Bullock. Off the set, the two were extremely close, and they would even make friendly bets, one Bullock stated she is still paying for today.
“I clean his house every Thursday. It’s sort of a thing that we had. I lost a bet when we did ‘Speed,’ and I said, ’Well, if it’s not true, I’ll clean your house.’ I think I’ve done a pretty good job. I mean, I stay out of certain rooms, but I respect it. Other than cleaning his house on Thursdays, I see him maybe once or twice a year.”
Given the success of the first film and how close Reeves was with Bullock, many anticipated the sequel to be an easy yes from both sides. However, despite a huge offer, Keanu Reeves decided to turn the project down. Looking back, it is safe to say he made the right call.
Keanu Reeves Did Not Like The Script For Speed 2
So why did Keanu turn down a cool $12 million? It was for the simple fact that he did not like the script. Keanu loved the character and working alongside Sandra, though the script just didn’t pop off the page.
“At the time, I just didn’t respond to the script,” Reeves revealed. “I really wanted to work with Sandra Bullock, and I really loved playing Jack Traven.”
“It wasn’t against any of the artists that were involved in the project, but at that time — I’m sure we’ve all had this kind of feeling sometimes when things just don’t feel right, and that was how I was feeling,” Reeves said.
“I loved ‘Speed,’ but… now it’s on an ocean liner?”
The budget was there to make the sequel a huge success but ultimately, it fell completely flat, despite a near $160 million put into the sequel. The aggressive move did not pay off, and the action sequel only made $164 million, a fraction of the first film. Looking back, Keanu’s absence played a big role, but the drop-off in script proved that Keanu was right all along.
Fans Praised Keanu Reeves For Turning It Down Given That The Film Flopped
IMDb rated the film a 3.0, which seems generous compared to other platforms like Rotten Tomatoes, giving the film a 4% approval rating.
Fans are still discussing the sequel’s failure on platforms like Reddit. Most find it hard to believe how the film flopped so badly, despite the same direction from the first film.
“Jan De Bont directed both Speed films which has always surprised me. How the same director can make such a horrible sequel to one of the best action films of all time, his movie. It is like Roland Emmerich with Independence Day and Independence Day: Resurgence.”
“Speed has 94% and Speed 2: Cruise Control has 4% on RT. Which is accurate when comparing the two films. Speed has 71 reviews, and Speed 2 has 73 reviews. Replacing Keanu Reeves with Jason Patrick didn’t help,” a fan on Reddit mentioned.
Despite the same director, there are rumors of messy habits from a production standpoint, “When it came to the sequel, Jan de Bont apparently turned down dozens of pitches, including Yosts – and he and Fox decided to make the sequel without Yost and Mark Gordon, who produced the first movie from the ground up. Jan de Bont then came up with the story for the sequel from a “nightmare” he had, then had McCormick and Nathanson write the movie from his idea – taking story by credit in the process. He ended up going way over budget as well, and production was reportedly a s*** show.”
Ultimately, perhaps not even Keanu could have saved the sequel…