After his breakout performance in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Keanu Reeves’ career took off rapidly. He began starring in major blockbuster films, making a name for himself as one of the industry’s most sought-after leading men. However, at the early peak of his success, Reeves’ made a difficult decision not to return to the Speed franchise, which caused him to be put in what he called ‘movie jail’.
“I didn’t get to be in that. Well, I decided not to be in that,” he said. “I loved working with [director] Jan de Bont and Sandra, of course. It was just a situation in life where I got the script and I read the script and I was like, ‘Ugh.’ It was about a cruise ship and I was thinking, ‘A bus, a cruise ship… Speed, bus, but then a cruise ship is even slower than a bus and I was like, ‘I love you guys, but I just can’t do it.’”
The decision had a clear ripple-effect in Reeves’ career, as he said that, “I didn’t work with [Fox] again until [2008’s] The Day the Earth Stood Still.”
While passing on a multimillion dollar paycheck to make a sequel to a wildly successful film may seem like a gamble, it paid off for Reeves. Critics and audiences alike panned Speed 2: Cruise Control. The film was awarded 8 Razzies and ranks #1 on Complex’s list of “Worst Sequels of All Time”.
Reeves, however, rebounded from the lapse in work, and is now at the highest point in his 34 year film career.
Keanu Reeves Says He Was Put in ‘Movie Jail’ After Turning Down ‘Speed 2’ | Entertainment Tonight (etonline.com)
Here’s Why Keanu Reeves Was Put In ‘Movie Jail’ After Turning Down A Role (looper.com)
Keanu Reeves Says He Went to ‘Movie Jail’ For 10 Years (people.com)
A Timeline of Keanu Reeves’ Life and Career (insider.com)
The 50 Worst Movie Sequels of All Time | Complex
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