Keanu Reeves Classics That Also Deserve Legacy Sequels After Constantine 2
Between Bill & Ted 3, The Matrix 4, and now Constantine 2, Keanu Reeves is having a renaissance of sequels to his most beloved films. So here's how to keep the party going...
Last week, fans were shocked and delighted by the news that a dormant DC franchise would receive a sequel with its original star and director set to return. No, sorry Henry Cavill fans, there’s still no word on a Man of Steel sequel. Still, if it’s any consolation, Keanu Reeves and director Francis Lawerence will take another stab at a Constantine film, after their original installment was released more than 15 years ago in 2005. The new film will be written by Akiva Goldsman and will see Reeves reprise his role as a supernatural exorcist and demonologist John Constantine.
Constantine was a modest hit upon release, grossing $232 million worldwide on a $100 million budget. Still, it was the highest-grossing DC superhero movie that didn’t feature Batman or Superman prior to the release of Wonder Woman in 2017. With its religious horror bent and superhero connections, it was a novel property in 2005, but in the years since then, the superhero genre has exploded and audiences are more willing than ever to explore something a bit more high-concept.
Couple that with the increasingly successful legacy sequel trend that just saw Top Gun: Maverick gross over $1 billion at the box office and the internet’s light obsession with the enigmatic, but always pleasant Good Guy Reeves, and another crack at Constantine doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea, even after Reeve’s most recent legacy sequel, The Matrix: Resurrections, disappointed at the box office for a myriad of reasons.
Reeves has had something of a resurgence with the success of the John Wick films, and his reputation for being kind and thoughtful has generated a lot of goodwill with moviegoers. While Constantine is a great choice for a Reeves franchise worth a revisit, the actor has a few hits in his filmography that could be ripe for the legacy sequel treatment—he’s even seen success in this subgenre of franchise continuation already courtesy of Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020).
So we’ve decided to continue the good vibes and pitch some more Keanu Reeves-fronted sequels below. Also sound off in the comments with your own Reeves revisit ideas.
Speed 2: Done Right
Okay, so technically Speed already has a sequel, but the less we say about that, the better. A genuine sequel to the 1994 smash hit starring Reeves and Sandra Bullock could generate the same white knuckle thrills that this summer’s Top Gun revival provided.
While Reeves declined to star in Speed 2: Cruise Control due to a lackluster script and action movie fatigue, there were a lot of different concepts thrown around for a Speed sequel before director Jan de Bont bizarrely settled on the idea of a cruise ship—this was the result of him having a recurring dream about an ocean liner slamming into an island.
Some of those pitches have surfaced and one in particular, about a plane that has to fly through the Andes mountains, but cannot ascend above 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), seems like it could have some potential. After 2006’s The Lake House, we know that Reeves and Bullock still have great chemistry, and putting the pair amongst a new, lively ensemble and scenery-chewing villain like the original could yield great dividends. Hey, maybe they could even convince de Bont to come out of retirement to make it.
Point Break: Johnny Utah
In Point Break, Patrick Swayze’s Bodhi is dead set on surfing the wave from what he calls the “50-Year Storm.” Would audiences be interested in wading into a 30-Year Sequel? Though it would feel bittersweet without the involvement of Swayze, who passed away in 2009 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, his character Bodhi presumably dies at the end of the original film while Keaue Reeves’ ex-college football star-turned FBI agent Johnny Utah throws his FBI badge into the ocean.
Maybe a Point Break sequel could find Utah coaxed back into the world of adrenaline junkie bank robbers after a new gang starts carrying out heists inspired by the Ex-Presidents gang. Or better yet, maybe a new film finds Utah in Bodhi’s position, now on the other side of the law for real, as a young actor takes over the role of the rookie FBI agent.
A 2015 remake failed to entice moviegoers, but perhaps original director Kathryn Bigelow could return to the franchise to give a new installment legitimacy. If a new project could balance high-octane stunts with new age-y macho mysticism and a healthy dose of camp, it’ll feel like Point Break.
The Devil’s Advocate Returns
The Constantine sequel will presumably find Reeves battling demons, but what if he could also become one? Taylor Hackford’s 1997 supernatural horror film The Devil’s Advocate found Reeves playing a gifted young lawyer who begins to work at a law firm that is run by the Devil in disguise, portrayed by Al Pacino. Pacino understandably received the most accolades for his over-the-top turn as Satan, but maybe this time around, Reeves could get the showy part.
Not known for giving overly theatrical performances, a Devil’s Advocate reboot could find Reeves in the role of Lucifer in the legal world, giving him the opportunity to ham it up a little while a young actor or actress occupies the role he served in the original. A prequel novel, Judgment Day, about Pacino’s John Milton arriving in New York City and obtaining control of a major law firm, already exists, perhaps that could be the jumping-off point for the story?
Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Part II
We know what you’re thinking. Didn’t Bram Stoker only ever write one Dracula novel? To which we ask, did that ever stop Universal Pictures or Hammer Films!? Besides, Francis Ford Coppola has set a precedent of writing and producing sequels with Roman numerals in the titles, even if the source material novel stopped at a definite point in the past.
But really, tell us you don’t want to see Reeves take another swing at that British accent yet again. Additionally, he and Dracula costar Winona Ryder have stayed friends, appearing together in Destination Wedding (2018). The way Ryder and Coppola both tell it, they even technically married on the set of Dracula. In this modern age of sequels to Gothic Keanu classics, that’s more than enough reason to check in on the characters roughly 25 years later (fudge the timeline), with the events occurring after the First World War. Now Jonathan and Mina Harker are living a high life as vampire hunters extraordinaire as the world modernizes around them—and eternal love rises again.
Plus, Coppola could even have some fun with exploring those nifty Vaudevillian and German Expressionist visual effects tricks a period setting where the Germans were literally making Nosferatu.
The Replacements 2: The Second Half
It’s been a while since there was a high-profile sports comedy, so maybe it’s time to revisit The Replacements. The 2000 film was loosely based on the 1987 NFL strike, but in today’s day and age, with tense collective bargaining agreements and constant back and forth between owners and the players union, a savvy sequel could really satire the modern NFL landscape.
Reeves’ Shane Flacco could be brought back to coach a new squad of scab players with his former teammates like Rhys Ifans’ Nigel Gruff and Jon Favreau’s Danny Bateman serving as position coaches. The original film wasn’t a hit upon release, but constant cable rotation has made it one of the most recognizable football films of the 2000s. An update could easily eclipse the original.