Interview: Keanu Reeves Talks Plot & Status Of 'Bill & Ted 3,' What Happened To Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Jekyll' & More
by Drew Taylor
We were lucky enough to speak to Keanu Reeves earlier today about his directorial debut, the underground fight saga "Man of Tai Chi." We'll have more from our interview with Reeves in the days ahead (including what it was like transitioning from "Man of Tai Chi" to "47 Ronin") but we wanted to first share with you an update about three seemingly endlessly gestating projects for the actor: the third 'Bill & Ted' movie, the sci-fi romance "Passengers" (which recently cast its leading lady) and what happened with "Jekyll," a film that at one time he was going to make with Nicolas Winding Refn.
First up, the possibility of a third 'Bill & Ted' film (after "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" and the even-more-surreal sequel "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey") has been earning no shortage of interest. And we asked how something so entrenched in the culture of the '80s would be translated to today. "I think, from what I've seen, in terms of the sensibility, it would change with the times. Whatever director takes it on would bring [things] to the movie," Reeves explained. "But the story of the two guys and the world that they're in is kind of interesting."
"It's basically that Bill and Ted haven't been able to create that song that's supposed to change the world and what that's done to them," Reeves added, detailing the plot. "So they go into the future to try to figure out what happened, with the Future Us-es and some hijinks ensue. So there's something about family and mortality and I think it's a wonderful extension to these wonderful characters." When asked if he thought it would ever see the light of day, Reeves laughed, "I have no idea. It all has to do with budget, and how can we do it. But some people are thinking about it."
Another project that looked like it would never come to fruition was "Passengers," a sci-fi romance that just the other day locked in Rachel McAdams for the female lead. " 'Passengers' was a script that was developed through the production company I have. And we developed the story with a writer named Jon Spaihts. And the first draft is from 2007 or '08. So it's kind of our baby," Reeves said. "And the story is timeless and human; the idea of love, the idea of not being alone, the idea of the human condition. And the story, really for me is very pointed to that: a guy waking up in a space ship alone and he's going to die alone."
Reeves thoughtfully went on to describe the thematic and dramatic concerns of the movie: "What's he going to do amongst five thousand passengers? How do we live? We know that we can't be alone. But can you forgive him? So it's a kind of Adam and Eve … There are a lot of thematic threads that I find really exciting."
Last but not least we had to ask about "Jekyll," a "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" update he was planning with "Drive" filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn a long while back. "No. I went and met him in Paris about trying to bring that film together. This is quite a few years ago. But the producers … Yeah … That kind of didn't happen." Even when describing the typical Hollywood story of development hell, Reeves took on an air of transcendentalism. "The energy kind of rippled out and rippled out and entropy reigned," Reeves said.