Please, Don't Put Keanu Reeves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
by River Donaghey
Unless Bill and Ted join the MCU.
Keanu Reeves has had a long career full of so-called moments—his breakthrough with Bill and Ted, his surprise turn as a 90s action star, then becoming an even bigger action star with The Matrix—but this summer might somehow, inexplicably, be his biggest yet. He's starring in the only good sequels of the summer. He's been dubbed the "internet's boyfriend." There's currently a Change.org petition with over 45,000 signatures to name him TIME's 2019 Person of the Year. The man can do no wrong right now. So, naturally, Marvel wants a piece of the guy, too.
During a recent interview with ComicBook, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige let slip that Reeves might soon wind up joining the MCU. "We talk to him for almost every film we make," Feige told ComicBook. "I don’t know when, if, or ever he’ll join the MCU, but we very much want to figure out the right way to do it."
It makes sense, since just about every other major actor of the last decade besides Reeves has been dragged into the Marvel orbit, but here's the thing: Putting Keanu Reeves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would probably be awful, actually. Please, don't do it. And here's why. The MCU Is a Black Hole
We've seen it suck actors in and basically steamroll the rest of their careers in the process—when the was the last time Chris Evans had any solid roles besides Captain America? Mark Ruffalo's creative output has shrunk significantly since he became the Hulk, Spotlight excluded. Iron Man may have saved Robert Downey, Jr., but it also dominated the guy's entire last decade, with the exception of those mercifully forgotten Sherlock Holmes movies. Downey's too weird and singular an actor to be stuck in Tony Stark acting purgatory all this time. We don't want to see that happen to Keanu Reeves.
Sure, there are plenty of actors who have managed to take supporting roles in the MCU, like Don Cheadle, or one-off gigs, like Jake Gyllenhaal's upcoming appearance in Far From Home. But the current rumors are that Feige might want Reeves for a role in The Eternals, which basically means that the guy would be locked into another franchise and, come on, the man has enough franchises to his name already. Speaking of which...
The Guy Deserves More Interesting Roles
Sorry, yes, we run the risk of enraging an entire legion of fans here, but, uh, superheroes are kind of boring? OK, maybe that's the wrong word—but let's just say that those stories have been told before and will be told again, and the world doesn't need to see Keanu Reeves put his own spin on the same plot beats one more time. Besides, Reeves should get more than that.
The guy has been dogged by criticisms about being a wooden, one-note actor from the beginning, but they're all wrong. Reeves is a quiet, singular actor who takes risks with his roles, even though it doesn't always work out in his favor. But for every terrible Dracula performance there's something that pays off spectacularly, like him taking a chance on The Matrix after just about every actor passed on it at the time.
The MCU probably won't let Keanu get weird. Keanu needs to get weird. Point made.
We'd Run the Risk of Keanu Fatigue
How much is too much? Are we teetering on the Keanu Saturation Point already? If we aren't, then a role in a massive superhero movie would probably push us there, regardless. Besides, the man is a quiet, introspective, seemingly introverted guy. He deserves his space, too. All that MCU attention might not be what he needs.
But if a Keanu Reeves/MCU crossover really has to happen, and both Reeves and Feige cannot be swayed otherwise, maybe there's a solution that could actually spin this whole mess in a positive direction..
Just Bring Bill and Ted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Ah, there it is. So simple, so easy, so brilliant. How has it taken so long for us to realize it? Keanu Reeves is currently hard at work with fellow co-star Alex Winter to bring us a long-awaited third Bill and Ted movie, Bill & Ted Face the Music, which is also set to star Kid Cudi and NoHo Hank from Barry. The movie will presumably wrap up the Bill and Ted franchise, but here's a wild concept: What if it just... didn't? What if the thing ended with an after-credits scene where our noble heroes, Bill S. Preston, esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan, are called to save the world again, but not by Rufus this time—by Nick Fury himself?
Marvel already released a series of Bill & Ted comics in the early 90s called Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book, that basically picked up where the second movie left off. They weren't great, but they were fine, and they even somehow nabbed a nomination for an Eisner Award. If Bill and Ted are already part of Marvel Comics, it seems only natural that they'd find their way into the MCU, too.
Make it happen, Feige. It's the only definitive way to bring Keanu Reeves into the MCU. We beg of you.