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Keanu Reeves reveals why he turned down Speed 2 role

Keanu Reeves on BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show (Matt Crossick/PA)
Keanu Reeves on BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show (Matt Crossick/PA)

Keanu Reeves has revealed he turned down reprising his role for Speed 2 as he did not “respond to the script” at the time.

The 57-year-old Hollywood actor starred in the 1994 action film as Jack Traven, an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department’s SWAT team who has to prevent a bomb exploding on a city bus by keeping its speed above 50mph. 

His co-star Sandra Bullock returned for the 1997 sequel, Speed 2: Cruise Control, with Jason Patric taking over the leading role as officer Alex Shaw in the film which sees the action play out on a luxury cruise ship.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Special Screening – London
Keanu Reeves is reprising another one of his popular roles as Neo in the Matrix series (Ian West/PA)

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show via a video call from the US, Reeves said: “At the time I didn’t respond to the script.

“I really wanted to work with Sandra Bullock, I loved playing Jack Traven, and I loved Speed, but an ocean liner?

“I had nothing against the artists involved, but at that time I had the feeling it just wasn’t right.”

However, the Canadian actor is returning to another of his celebrated roles as Neo in the sci-fi series The Matrix, alongside Carrie-Anne Moss who will reprise her role as Trinity.

The long-awaited fourth Matrix film, titled The Matrix Resurrections, is the first new instalment in the franchise since 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions.

The film is directed by Lana Wachowski, who helmed and wrote the previous Matrix movies with her sister Lilly.

Talking about the much-anticipated movie, he said: “Hopefully people will enjoy it – it’s very exciting, and it was an extraordinary experience to make it.”

He also addressed the pressing question of how his character, who was believed to have died 18 years ago, is still alive in the new film, saying: “I had the same question – when the director asked me what I thought about doing another Matrix film.

“I said ‘What? That sounds amazing but I’m dead’. She was like, ‘Are you?’ and I said, ‘Do tell!’

“She wrote a beautiful story, and I love playing the character. How I am alive will all be explained.”

The Matrix Resurrections is due in cinemas on December 22.

The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, airs on Friday December 10 and is available on BBC iPlayer.

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