Why is Keanu Reeves back in Beijing?
by James Wilkinson
Keanu Reeves is no stranger to our fair city. Sometimes you can't walk down Nanluoguxiang without tripping over the affably laid-back actor. Still, when we spot him it's hard not to feel a little bit startled. Especially when we've caught him 'mid-benchpress, legs spread and crotch pointed in our direction'. So when our roving scouts nabbed a glimpse (but, sadly, not a picture) of him in Sanlitun this weekend, we had to wonder what had brought the man to Beijing this time around. Other than a plane, obviously.
Reeves (pictured above wiping chewing gum off a window, or something. It's been ages since we saw The Matrix), who has some Chinese ancestry, has got a couple of Asia-themed pics going at the moment. One is 47 Ronin, about a rampaging band of samurai in 18th century Japan, but the chances of them filming that in the PRC are pretty slim, unless it ends with the samurai renouncing ownership of the Diaoyu Islands and driving off in a fleet of Dongfeng Motor cars.
More likely he's in town overseeing post-production on martial arts flick Man of Tai Chi, which is also his directorial debut. The film is a co-production between Universal Pictures, China Film Group and Wanda Group, and is budgeted at 32 million USD. And why would that bring him to the 'Jing? Well, it could be something to do with the film company on the third floor of Zhongyu Plaza, with whom he has supposedly been working. So if you want to get a glimpse of Neo himself in the city without braving the tourist traps of Nanluoguxiang, you now know where to look...