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How Keanu Reeves Ended Up In SpongeBob: Sponge On The Run

The Keanu Reeves renaissance has been in full effect in recent years, partly thanks to the John Wick films. The 56 year-old actor has managed to keep busier now more than ever. At every turn, there’s either his likeness popping in other media, a new film being greenlit or an out-of-the-box cameo in an unexpected project. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run falls into the latter category. The film’s director explained how the celebrated actor ended up in the SpongeBob sequel.

While Keanu Reeves has been one of Hollywood’s favorite leading men, a huge part of his career has been popping up unexpectedly in film and other media. So the upcoming cameo in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run isn’t outside of his wheelhouse. The film’s writer and director Tim Hill spoke with CinemaBlend about the actor’s cameo in the animated sequel. Hill revealed how Reeves was the only choice for the sequel, saying:

Keanu was on my mind when I wrote the Sage character, and then we started basically storyboarding with a Keanu drawing. We were building a lot of momentum and we were lucky he agreed. And for Snoop [Dogg], we wanted a cowboy gambler rapper, and it was like… it has to be him. It was cool that everyone agreed to be involved that was really fun for me.

Tim Hill’s recount of Keanu Reeves taking on the role fell right in line with the persona the actor has cultivated over four decades. Given that persona, Reeves was the right choice to play a spiritual tumbleweed for SpongeBob and Patrick in the film. Unlike most actors of his caliber, Reeves doesn’t take himself so seriously that he can’t make a cameo in a “kids movie.” Part of the actor’s success has been his willingness to try anything as evident by his participation in Sponge on the Run and Cyberpunk 2077.

Keanu Reeves’s openness to all opportunities has paid off in recent years. Matrix 4 co-star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II talked about learning from Keanu Reeves' words and actions on the set. Reeves has even offered advice to fans about dealing with the circumstances of 2021. The actor's film work even influenced his pitch of the comic series BRZRKR. As previously mentioned, the actor’s participation in Cyberpunk 2077 got everyone hyped, but the results were less than stellar. To make things worse, players were able to have sex with Reeves despite claims stating otherwise. This hack led to CD Projekt Red speaking out against it.

Keanu Reeves isn’t the only high-profile cameo in the animated film, as Awkwafina, Tiffany Haddish and many more joined the usual SpongeBob Squarepants cast. Tim Hill wanted Reeves in the film, and it happened. Again, it showed how open the actor is to any role – no matter how big or small. You can watch SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run on Paramount+.

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).