Keanu Reeves Locks Up Two Distribution Deals At Cannes

Of all people, Keanu Reeves has been very busy at the Cannes Film Festival this past week, with two of his upcoming pictures landing distribution deals that will have the dramatic actor back on screen in the near future and starring in features that couldn’t be more different.

Early in the week, Radius-TWC picked up the North American rights to Reeves directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, for what Deadline is referring to as a “low seven-figure minimum guarantee.” Reeves, who stars in the picture as well, tells the story of a modern martial arts artist whose journeys through Beijing land him in an underground fight club. As he works his way through various levels of competition, the fighter struggles with compromising his beliefs if it means surviving and advancing.

Tiger Hu Chen, a fighter Reeves met years ago while making The Matrix, will play the lead in Man of Tai Chi. making it his first. But Reeves has surrounded him with experienced actors like Iko Uwais, whose name you may recognize from The Raid. Radius has said it will release Man of Tai Chi in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Later in the week, The Weinstein Company swooped in and snapped up the rights to Passengers, a sci-fi romance starring Reeves and Reese Witherspoon. Deadline, again, reports that the studio outbid FilmDistrict and Open Road for the movie’s rights. The Passengers script will be written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) and directed by Game of Thrones helmer Brian Kirk, who will make his feature debut.

Passengers is set on a spaceship transporting people to a faraway colony. When one man (Reeves) mistakenly wakes up from hibernation and faces the prospect of growing old alone, he decides to wake up another passenger (Witherspoon), triggering an odd romance. It sounds like we’ll see Man From Tai Chi before Passengers, which hasn’t even begun filming yet. But Reeves will be busy, and back on screen before we know it.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.