Keanu Reeves is an international treasure. The affable actor has been iconic ever since he played Ted Logan in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. He’s only added to his icon status thanks to movies like Speed, and The Matrix and John Wick franchises. And for years, fans have been wanting to see him join the MCU.
Recently, Reeves admitted in an Esquire interview that he would love to come onboard, it just hasn’t happened yet. But he definitely comes across as a big Marvel fanboy. Of course, there are but a handful of really high-profile heroes in the MCU left for Keanu to play. At least from the comics. So here are our top choices for Marvel characters for Keanu Reeves.
The Silver Surfer
Keanu Reeves is an A-list actor and he deserves an A-list character. However, there aren’t that many left from Marvel Comics that haven’t made it to the MCU yet—although there are still a handful. Of course, former Fox characters who are up for rebooting in the MCU count as well. The Fantastic Four, the X-Men… and yes, the Silver Surfer. And we can’t think of a Marvel part that’s a better fit for Keanu.
Keanu Reeves has the perfect energy to play forlorn alien scientist Norrin Radd, the man who saved his homeworld of Zenn-La from the hunger of the cosmic entity Galactus. To spare his world, Radd offered his life to the Devourer of Worlds, who remade him as his herald, the Silver Surfer. Keanu is 57, so just the right age to play the esteemed scientist in human form for just one movie, but also potentially voice him/do motion capture for the character for a decade or more. In the ’90s, they often referred to Keanu as a “surfer bro.” Well, let’s take it full circle, and make him the surfer bro of the galaxy.
Here’s another relatively major Marvel Comics hero who somehow still hasn’t made it to live-action and is long overdue. We were hoping Wonder Man would show up in WandaVision, but no such luck. Simon Williams was a wealthy industrialist, one who lost his company thanks to a takeover from Tony Stark. Vowing revenge, he volunteers to undergo experiments that left him with “ionic powers.” He infiltrated the Avengers to destroy them from within, as revenge against Iron Man. But he reconsiders his actions (and then promptly dies). But this is comics, so he gets better.
When they revive Wonder Man years later, he becomes a mainstay of the Avengers. He also embarks on a career as a Hollywood stuntman and later, an actor. His acting career kind of dries up, and he mostly sticks to superheroing these days. For Keanu Reeves in the MCU, we’d get rid of the whole “infiltrating the Avengers” aspect of his origin story, and let him play Wonder Man as a down-on-his luck, middle-aged, former hero. Think of his Toy Story 4 character, Duke Caboom. Only with ionic super powers. We’d love to see Keanu Reeves with a big red “W” on his chest, sporting that flashy red jacket too.
Balder the Brave
We’ve seen a lot of the Odinsons’ Asgardian friends over the course of three Thor movies. But there is one major friend of the Thunder God’s who has yet to show up in the MCU, and that’s Balder the Brave. He’s fought alongside Thor many times in the comics, and yet, the movies have not seen fit to use him. As Thor’s “other brother,” they might have wanted to keep his main sibling relationship with Loki in the MCU, as to not overcomplicate things.
For years, Marvel mostly depicted Balder as merely Thor’s good friend. But in 2008, Marvel revealed that Balder’s true bloodline was kept from him, despite being raised in the royal court of Asgard. Instead of a foundling child, as he believed himself to be, he discovered that his true parents were, in fact, Odin and Frigga, initially abandoned because of Odin’s premonitions about how Balder’s death would lead to Ragnarok. Now that Ragnarok has come and gone, he might come back a little bitter that all of that was for nothing. All that aside, we just want to see Hemsworth and Reeves on screen together.
Unless you grew up reading comics in the ’70s, chances are you have no idea who Nighthawk even is. But once upon a time, he was rather prominent. At least in the pages of comics like Defenders. Kyle Richmond was the son of millionaires, who lived a charmed life. His daddy’s money got him through most tough times. However, he vowed to change his life after a drunk driving accident seriously injured his girlfriend, who became a wheelchair user after a spine injury.
Putting himself through intense physical training, and buying all kinds of crime-fighting gadgets with his vast wealth, Kyle Richmond became Nighthawk. Oh, and he had super strength too, thanks to a special serum he created. But he had super strength only at night, hence the name. Nighthawk might not qualify for his own movie, but a Disney+ series would be a great vehicle for Keanu Reeves. Essentially, he’s a more pathetic, weirder version of Batman. And who wouldn’t want to play that?
At some point, Marvel Studios is going to get around to Nova. The Nova most readers are familiar with is a member of the Nova Corps, intergalactic police force, which MCU viewers might remember from Guardians of the Galaxy. Earth’s Nova was originally Richard Rider. Portrayed as a typical American teenager, he was a mix of Spider-Man and DC’s Green Lantern.
But isn’t Keanu way too old to play that role? He most certainly is. But there is another Nova from Earth, by the name of Sam Alexander. They introduced this teenage hero to Marvel Comics readers in just the last decade or so. A movie where a teen Alexander learns the ropes from an older Richard Rider, played by Keanu, would be ideal. We wouldn’t mind seeing Keanu in the Mister Miyagi role.
Namor the Sub-Mariner
Along with the Silver Surfer, Namor the Sub-Mariner is probably the most iconic Marvel hero yet to make it to the big screen. But we think his time has come. Rumors circulate that the half-human/half Atlantean prince will appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But that has yet to be confirmed. So assuming that he doesn’t show up, Keanu Reeves could eventually play him in a future project. Yes, he’s pushing 60, so that means he might be too old to play that character for another ten years. But since DC already has Aquaman out there, maybe having a slightly older Namor would be the perfect way to differentiate the two very similar heroes.
Featured Image: Lionsgate/Marvel Comics