Recently, the news came out that Neo himself, Keanu Reeves, came very close to joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to the report, Keanu Reeves was set to join Captain Marvel as Yon-Rogg (or Mar-Vell, who knows), a role that eventually went to Jude Law. By the sound of it, Keanu didn’t turn down the role out of a desire not to be a part of the biggest franchise in cinema, but because he had a prior commitment to John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum that took precedence.
Yet, although we missed out on Keanu Reeves joining the MCU this time around, if Marvel wanted to work with him, there’s the possibility that the studio will still endeavor to do so in the future. And who could blame Marvel? Keanu Reeves would be a great addition to the MCU. He was the star of the immeasurably influential The Matrix and he’s now about to wrap up one of the best action trilogies of all time in John Wick (unless director Chad Stahelski gets his way and the film series continues indefinitely). Heck, this is a guy with a whole subreddit dedicated to how awesome he is.
Keanu Reeves is already working with Disney on a mysterious role in Toy Story 4, and although he already played a DC comic book character in Constantine, a role in a Marvel movie feels like a box in need of checking. But who could he play? The MCU will continue to grow and expand in Phase 4, and there is no shortage of roles he could play. Here are six characters Keanu Reeves would be great for who could plausibly be brought into the MCU.
As the MCU becomes increasingly more cosmic, Nova is one character whose name continually comes up for possible introduction. We already met the Nova Corps in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and James Gunn hinted that Nova was a character that came up in discussions for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. So it is certainly possible that Nova could show up at some point and that makes him a potential character Keanu Reeves could play.
Marvel would probably want to go young for Nova (Richard Rider gets his powers as a teenager), but Keanu Reeves could take on the role of Richard Rider as a seasoned member of the Nova Corps and its only surviving member after Thanos’ wiped the majority of them out acquiring the Power Stone. Keanu Reeves almost played a cosmic character in Captain Marvel and Nova would give him another chance to do so.
We don’t yet know exactly what will happen when Disney's purchase of 20th Century Fox goes through and the X-Men come under the Marvel banner. I think the prevailing assumption is that the characters will be rebooted. Whatever happens, we’ll need a new Wolverine now that Hugh Jackman has retired from the role. And while Keanu Reeves is probably too old for the part and too tall if Marvel decides to go back to the character’s stature from the comics after the 6’2” Jackman, Keanu would still be a fun choice.
We know that he can play a convincing badass and a man of few words like Logan. Keanu Reeves has also expressed interest in playing Wolverine in the past, and some fan art from BossLogic has shown us that he could look more right in the role than some might expect.
Much of Phase 4 is a mystery but Marvel does appear to be actively developing a movie about the Eternals with The Rider director Chloé Zhao set to helm. One of the Eternals that the film could potentially use is Druig, who is the kin of the Eternals’ leader, Ikaris. Druig is Loki-esque, in that he is a schemer who is not satisfied with the immense power of the Eternals and seeks to gain more for his own selfish aims.
In modern times, the Lord of Flames and Nightmares (what a freaking title!) was a KGB agent who enjoyed torture. Keanu Reeves could totally nail the role as a Russian torturer, and as a character without a lot of history or expectations, he could put his own spin on Druig, whether the film has him as a full on villain or just a frenemy of the Eternals.
In one of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s end-credits scenes, Ayesha is seen plotting her revenge against the Guardians with the next evolution of her race called ‘Adam.' So Adam Warlock is already primed and ready to appear in Phase 4 of the MCU, it’s just a matter of what movie he’ll debut in and who will play him. Like many of the characters on this list, Keanu Reeves just seems like an ideal fit for the cosmic side of the MCU.
Although he doesn’t look like Adam Warlock as he’s traditionally depicted, Marvel has been known to alter comic book characters for the big screen, and Keanu Reeves certainly has experience playing an ultra-powerful messianic figure. Plus, Adam Warlock becomes a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy at one point, and who doesn’t want to see Keanu opposite that pack of rascals?
There is a recurring joke online that Keanu Reeves is immortal, and while there are plenty of death-allergic characters in the Marvel canon, the legendary Vlad the Impaler would be a fun choice for Keanu Reeves to play. Dracula exists throughout fiction, and within the Marvel universe, he is the most powerful vampire. Although the supernatural elements of Marvel have yet to play a major role in the MCU, perhaps they could make an impact in Phase 4.
In the comics, Dracula has faced off with the X-Men, Thor and Doctor Strange, among others. If Blade is rebooted as many are hoping, Keanu Reeves’ Dracula could be the villain in the first MCU horror film. Keanu Reeves could play him as both intelligent and ancient, and as someone who’s lived multiple lifetimes (as is fun to believe), the John Wick actor would bring a lot of knowledge to the role.
Alongside the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, Norinn Radd seems like an obvious choice to make his way to the MCU at some point, and who could be more perfect to play an intergalactic surfer that goes on excellent adventures than the Wyld Stallyns’ own Ted Logan? Neo could take on the role of the Herald of Galactus who was voiced by Morpheus actor Laurence Fishburne in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Keanu Reeves himself is something of an enigmatic figure, making him well suited to the Surfer. He has also already played something of a herald in The Day the Earth Stood Still and the part of the Silver Surfer would really play to the actor’s strengths. His acting style seems like it would be perfect for this cosmic being that shows no remorse or pity while under Galactus’ control, but ultimately feels deep sorrow.
The breadth of the Marvel Universe and our ignorance of Marvel’s plans means that there are any number of characters Keanu Reeves could play in Phase 4. Even if it’s not one of the aforementioned, I think many fans would love to see Keanu Reeves, who has been a part of so many beloved films and franchises, finally join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now that we know he almost did, it has to happen.
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Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.