Keanu Reeves on the role that got away: ‘I did always want to play Wolverine’

When you think about all the franchises and roles associated with Keanu Reeves, you’d think he’d be perfectly content with his filmography. Not only does he have The Matrix and the John Wick series under his belt, he’s also beloved for Bill & Ted, tackled Shakespeare (looking hella good doing so, I might add) and I will go to my grave singing his (and everyone else’s) praises for Parenthood. But during a recent Ask Me Anything on Reddit, Keanu revealed the one role that got away and it surprised me. When he was asked if he had any regrets about his career or roles he’d turned down, Keanu said no. But he added that he while he had no regrets, he did always want to play Wolverine, the stout Canadian X-Man brought to life by Hugh Jackman.

During a recent AMA on Reddit, Keanu Reeves opened up about any regrets in his career.

More specifically, the 58-year-old John Wick star was asked if he regretted turning down any of the roles in his past.

While he said no, he did reveal a dream role playing a classic comic book hero that he has not yet been able to book.

“I did always want to play Wolverine,” Keanu told a curious fan on Reddit.

[From Just Jared]

Aw, this breaks my heart a little. Because Keanu was seriously considered for Wolverine before Hugh was even suggested for the role. Several people were put forward as possible Wolverines. But only a few were favored by the studio heads. Among them were Russell Crow, Aaron Eckhart, Viggo Mortensen and Keanu. Keanu was fresh off The Matrix and quite hot. But it ultimately worked against him, because they worried comic book fans wouldn’t be able to see past him as Neo. The role went to Doughary Scott, who had to drop out, and the rest is history… or Hughstory *snerk* Now, I’m not saying I think Keanu should have been Wolverine, just that I feel bad he wanted the role that much and didn’t get it. And it is possible that had he gotten Logan, he would not have gotten John Wick. I love Keanu in John Wick so in my book, this worked out the way it should. Not to mention because it gave us the Hugh/Ryan Reynolds bromance as well. But I think in light of this, Ryan can find a role for his fellow Canadian in the next Deadpool alongside Wolverine. That would certainly be one pretty film.

Photo credit: Instagram and Yuri Murakami/Fotoarena/Avalon

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23 Responses to “Keanu Reeves on the role that got away: ‘I did always want to play Wolverine’”

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  1. Lucía says:

    I simply cannot think of anyone else to play Wolverine other than HJ. However, this could have been one interesting “what if”.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Me too. I couldn’t imagine seeing Keanu buffed up like HJ but possibly he could pull it off, but that isn’t Keanu as I am simply placing Keanu as Jackman is playing him. Now I can’t see Keanu as Wolverine as it suits HJ perfectly.

      • notasugarhere says:

        He did get buffed up for Speed and Street Kings. To see what he could have looked like as Wolverine? Read his graphic novel BRZRKR.

    • Ang says:

      ARRRG! Keanu would have been PERFECT!!!!! It hurts my heart to think this might have been. Canadian icon gold

  2. Nanea says:

    Awww, memories!

    Denzel and Keanu as the most handsome brothers in the history of cinema.

    And Keanu’s Hamlet way back when in Winnipeg was quite the hottie too, if the photos don’t lie! 😍

    Meanwhile I am so looking forward to watching JW IV, to see the old friends and meet new foes. And Paris, and car chases, garnished with the usual dose of gun-fu!

    • Prairiegirl says:

      I had third row seats for one of those performances. He was fantastic as Action Hamlet. As Contemplative Hamlet, not so much. Confirm he was 100% hottie throughout.

  3. laurie says:

    Russell Crowe????

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I know…..

      What, why?????

      • Lee says:

        While I’ve not paid attention to much else of his work, Gladiator remains one of my all time favorite movies. Probably because of the music and subject (I love Ancient Greece/Rome movies which is why I also like Troy) but I think following that movie, his name was mentioned for certain types of roles.

    • Jiller says:

      Many moons ago, my children, Russell Crow was the shit.

  4. Fuzzy Crocodile says:

    I love Keanu in all things. (And I too love Parenthood and think it’s a classic. I own it and watch it when I’m down.) I think he’s an awesome action star and I own most of his movies.

    I don’t really see him as Wolverine. It would have been really different, I guess.

    As an aside, I love Who Framed Roger Rabbit with Bob Hoskins – and apparently they had wanted Bill Murray originally. Interesting thought experiments on how it would have changed the mood of the film. It is what it is though.

  5. Ariel says:

    The John wick movie can throw its beagle puppy killing whole self off a bridge.

    Keanu probably would have made a great wolverine. Can’t you kind of see it?
    The nihilism works for him.
    Obv Hugh Jackman is a great wolverine.

  6. Lightpurple says:

    He can still be Wolverine. We’re in the Multiverse now. He can be a Wolverine variant.

    Kevin Feige, CALL KEANU!

  7. Mireille says:

    I imagine somehow, somewhere Kevin Feige and the MCU will be battling James Gunn (new co-head of DC Studios) for the rights to pull Keanu Reeves into their superhero universes. I think he would have made a great Wolvie, but Hugh Jackman truly defines the role. I also completely forgot about DOUGRAY SCOTT!!!! He was filming Mission Impossible 2 and couldn’t swing it to film X-Men. I just read when HJ and DS finally met up at some event HJ felt really bad and awkward around him — like he stole his role (untrue) — but DS was very gentlemanly about the whole deal. But wow…what possibilities could have been for DS if not for that Mission movie (which IMO was bad and pretty forgetful).

    • notasugarhere says:

      Random aside, Dougray Scott is married to Claire Forlani who dated KR briefly years ago. They live part of the year in Italy, near her father’s family home.

  8. HeyKay says:

    Keanu 💕
    JW4 is releasing soon, looking forward to more Keanu posts.

  9. Maple Plains says:

    Keanu was really excellent in Parenthood, and I will watch Point Break and Speed whenever offered the opportunity, too.

    It’s a great day when I get both Keanu and Ted Lasso content ❤️

  10. HeyKay says:

    Keanu in I Love You to Death. A small part, that every time I watch it still makes me laugh.
    One of the only roles in which he is so unattractive physically, by design, that at first I keep thinking IS that Keanu.

    Keanu at one time, claimed he wanted to play Batman. Oh take my money, make that happen. 👍👍

  11. Valerie says:

    I would always thought a biopic about Attila the Hun would be a perfect role for Keanu. He’s so beautiful when he smiles.

  12. HeyKay says:

    Point Break is prime Keanu. Stunningly good looking, the face, the shoulders, the hair, smiling, running, Keanu & Swayze skydiving it is all good.

    The Replacements, an entertaining movie but the shot of Keanu running onto the field, in close up MOVIE STAR!
    Dear Fox, I have not forgiven you for keeping Keanu in “movie jail” for years. You suck!

    I know JW prints money but Keanu can do something new too.
    I even watched The SuperPets because Keanu is in it, voice only.

  13. j.ferber says:

    It’s not too late. Write a movie for him now. Right now!!!