Fast X: Keanu Reeves nearly played major villain

Cameron Frew
Keanu Reeves in John Wick 4 and a poster for Fast X

Keanu Reeves was originally set to play a major villain in Fast X, the 10th chapter of the Fast and Furious franchise – but those talks fell through, paving the way for another actor.

The Fast family is a broad church. People come and go, live and die (and probably get resurrected), but everyone’s just a BBQ and a beer away from Dominic Toretto’s high-octane orbit.

However, one actor has remained on the periphery of the saga: Keanu Reeves. He was reportedly in talks for a surprise appearance in Hobbs and Shaw, with rumors suggesting he would have portrayed the villain behind the voice of the nefarious Eteon organization.

Now, following the release of Fast and Furious 10, it’s been revealed that the John Wick star was the initial choice for one of the movie’s antagonists.

Alan Ritchson replaced Keanu Reeves in Fast X

In Fast X, Alan Ritchson plays Aimes, the leader of the Agency in lieu of Kurt Russell’s Mr Nobody. While Tess (Brie Larson) thinks he should stand behind Dom when he’s framed for a terrorist attack, Aimes reckons it’s finally time to distance themselves from the crew.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ritchson opened up about joining the franchise. “It was just a little stroke of luck and good timing,” he said.

“I was working on a movie with Hilary Swank up in Winnipeg in the freezing cold, and I got a call that things had shifted in the plans with Keanu Reeves, which is I think who was originally intended to play my part. Tough act to follow.”

Other “timing issues” nearly prevented Ritchson from taking the role. “Basically the deal was if there’s no problems, we don’t shut down for COVID or weather, this should work, and about two weeks later, we got news that we were going to get hit with the biggest blizzard in Winnipeg’s history.

“All production shut down. It was disheartening. I thought it was over before it began, but luckily we worked it out and they were able to push the dates a little more.”

When producer Jeff Kirschenbaum told the Reacher actor about Justin Lin’s departure, he thought he was getting axed from the movie. “He was like, ‘Yeah, of course. We’re excited to work with you, but we’ve decided to go our separate ways with Justin’,” Ritchson recalled.

“I was like, ‘Okay, you can just say that next time!’ So I’m very grateful that it worked out.”

Fast X is in cinemas now, and you can check out the rest of our Fast and Furious 10 coverage below:

Fast X review | Post-credits scenes | Ending explained | Who dies? | Is Fast X streaming? | Will there be a Fast & Furious 11? | Fast X cast and characters | Fast X soundtrack | How long is Fast X runtime? | Fast X budget | Is Paul Walker in Fast X? | Meadow Walker cameo | Does Gad Gadot return? | Who does Pete Davidson play? | Is Mr Nobody in Fast X? | Is Leon in Fast & Furious 10? | Is The Rock in Fast X? | Will there be a Hobbs & Shaw 2? | Who does Alan Ritchson play? | How to watch Fast and Furious movies in order

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