Canoe (Ca), March 4, 2002

Keanu to remake 'Billy Jack'

Keanu Reeves will follow up his dual sequels to the futuristic martial arts epic "The Matrix" by taking on the bare-footed butt-kicker "Billy Jack," Variety reports.

Jersey Films is in discussions with creator/star Tom Laughlin to remake the original 1971 "Billy Jack," a wildly profitable counter-culture hit about a peaceful half-native Vietnam vet forced to take vengeance on those who prey on the meek.

His trademarks were a penchant for philosophizing ("Whatever makes you upset in someone else also exists in you ...") and a slow-burning anger that began with Billy Jack methodically removing his boots before unleashing a barrage of kicks and punches on his enemies.

Laughlin -- who starred in, directed, produced and independently distributed many of his films -- has all along controlled the rights to "Billy Jack" and the movie's sequels, Variety said.

The official "Billy Jack" website ( reports that Laughlin recently underwent throat cancer surgery, and is recovering.

The site also offers the complete library of the films on DVD, including the biker-themed "Born Losers" (1967), "Billy Jack" (1971), "The Trial Of Billy Jack" (1974), and the long-delayed "Billy Jack Goes To Washington" (1977).

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