Movie Starring Johnny Depp’s Replacement, Keanu Reeves, Gets R-Rated Update

in DC, Movies & TV

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow (L) / Keanu Reeves (R)

Credit: Disney (L) / Netflix (R)

Iconic actor Keanu Reeves is involved in talks to continue the legacy of a fan-favorite movie.

Keanu Reeves smoking as John Constantine
Credit: Warner Bros.

Best known for his roles as Neo in The Matrix franchise, including The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003), and The Matrix Resurrections (2021), as well as the four John Wick movies, John Wick (2014), John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum (2019), and John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023), Keanu Reeves is a big Hollywood draw, and beloved actor by generations.

Aside from his roles in big, splashy blockbusters, Reeves also produces many movies, as well as lends his voice talents to animated feature films like Toy Story 4 (2019), where he voiced Duke Caboom, and DC League of Super Pets (2022), voicing Bruce Wayne, AKA Batman.

Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity) in 'The Matrix Resurrections'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Interestingly, the course of Reeves’s career could have looked exponentially different. It would be hard to imagine The Wachowski’s billion-dollar Matrix franchise without Keanu Reeves, but in the nineties, multiple other names were floated, including Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, and Will Smith.

However, according to franchise composer Don Davis, Johnny Depp was The Wachowski’s first choice to play Neo in The Matrix, with Warner Bros. pushing for Pitt or Kilmer. The part would, of course, go to Keanu Reeves, who replaced the director’s Johnny Depp vision. It wouldn’t be terrible for Depp, though, who went on to star in his most commercial role to date, Captain Jack Sparrow, in The Walt Disney Company’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

After the latest Matrix movie was widely panned, eyes will be looking towards the next film in the John Wick franchise, Ballerina (2024), starring Ana de Armas, where Reeves will reprise his role as the assassin John Wick. But interestingly, a cult classic film has made its way back into conversation, and Reeves may get a chance to return to one of his most famous roles.

Keanu Reeves as John Wick
Credit: Lionsgate

Related: Johnny Depp’s Legacy Continues To Be Erased With New Casting

When Constantine first debuted in 2005, it received mixed reviews despite going on to net $230 million for Warner Bros. Pictures on a relatively low $70-$100 million budget. Over the last 18 years, though, Constantine has gone on to become a cult classic, popular for its R-rated nature and Keanu Reeves lead.

Inspired by the DC Comics and Vertigo Comics “Hellblazer” graphic novels, Constantine stars Keanu Reeves as the titular John Constantine, who is damned to hell for trying to commit suicide. Reeves is joined by Rachel Weisz (The Mummy) as Angela Dodson, Shia LaBeouf (Transformers) as Chas Kramer, and Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange) as Gabriel.

Now, 18 years after the original debuted, director Francis Lawrence has spoken about the development of a sequel to Constantine and how he would continue the tale of the cynical, chain-smoking John Constantine.

Keanu Reeves as John Constantine leaping from demons
Credit: Warner Bros.

“Those kinds of dark DC characters, Vertigo characters, have bounced around, and we’ve tried to gain control. We finally have, and Keanu, I, and Akiva Goldsman, who did the movie together originally, are batting around ideas, but we got sort of halted by the strike,” Lawrence told BroBible’s Post Credit Podcast.However, we are actively coming up with ideas to create a part two, and it will be very rated R.”

When Lawrence was asked about whether DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran were involved in these talks, the director replied that the pair have been because they control the rights to the Vertigo characters, but as a project, this is very much a trio project between Reeves, Goldsman, and himself.

It seems that, whereas before rated-R movies were to be avoided, that more and more are finding a wider audience. Even the historically family-friendly Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney’s major franchise, is about to see the likes of the foul-mouthed Deadpool arrive sometime soon in Deadpool 3 (2024). As for DC, both Joker (2019) and Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021) delivered large box offices after mesmerizing audiences worldwide.

Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry holding trident in DC's 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' (2023)
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Fans Go Wild as ‘The Matrix’ Legend Officially Joins ‘Star Wars’

The news of a Constantine sequel being in the works comes as the DC Extended Universe speeds towards its finale. In December, James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), the sequel to his surprise billion-dollar hit, Aquaman (2018), will close out the troubled DC Extended Universe.

After being named co-CEOs of DC Studios, the pair outlined their upcoming plan to reboot the DCEU into simply the DC Universe: an interconnected world of film, TV, animated projects, and video games. First up for movies in the DCU is Gunn’s own Superman reboot, Superman: Legacy (2025), starring David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan as Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane, respectively.

Other projects in the DCU include Creature Commandos, Waller, Lanterns, and Paradise Lost in the television sphere, with Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, The Brave and the Bold, and Swamp Thing included in some of the movie titles that make up this first chapter, “Chapter 1 — Gods and Monsters.”

What do you think about the news of Constantine 2? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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