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At this point in Keanu Reeves’ career, the longest stint he’s had on a television series was on the animated spinoff of the cult classic Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. (But not that lameass live-action version, thankfully.) Now Reeves is set to play to the couch potato crowd for the hourlong dramatic thriller Rain, based on the hit series of espionage novels by author Barry Eisler.
Hold on to your hats, for it may blow your mind wide open to learn that Reeves will play a character who is half-American and half-Japanese, something he hasn’t done in at least six months. As John Rain, Reeves will immerse himself in the world of globe-spanning assassinations. His specialty is making his victims appear as if they’ve died of natural causes in order to throw off suspicions. The life of a hitman makes him somewhat disconnected from the world at large, keeping him from finding real relationships in his life. Plus, he doesn’t kill women or children and accepts no assistance for his assignments. For all of my inherent sarcasm, this actually sounds like a role that Reeves was born to play, assuming they give him a long leather coat and a pair of snazzy sunglasses.
Reeves will also serve as executive producer on Rain, according to Deadline, joined by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, the stuntmen who are making their directorial debut later this year with the Reeves-starring thriller John Wick. (Stahelski has worked with Reeves on many projects over the years, including the Matrix series and Constantine.) The books were acquired as the first foray into television from David Ellender’s Slingshot Global Media, who will distribute the series.
Eisler got his first big break when he published Rain Fall in 2002 – it was later renamed A Clean Kill in Tokyo. He’s written seven more entries in the series, most of them similarly retitled, and his eighth John Rain novel, Graveyard of Memories, was released in February. (He also has two books in a series about an undercover soldier named Ben Treven.) Interestingly enough, Rain Fall has already been adapted into Max Minnix’s 2009 crime drama feature of the same name, with Gary Oldman co-starring. Take a look at the trailer below.
Slingshot is planning on bringing the series out to buyers in the near future, and they’re currently looking for a screenwriter to adapt the project. Considering Reeves made his directorial debut last year with Man of Tai Chi, it’s legitimately possible that he might get involved with the behind-the-camera work here as well. Are you guys jazzed about possibly having Reeves on your TVs week in and week out?