‘Breathtaking’ internet sensation and universal heartthrob Keanu Reeves has been finally confirmed as the “must read” creator-owned series originally teased by Boom! Studios back in February. Reeves will be joined by seasoned comic book writer and illustrator Matt Kindt and Italian artist sensation Alessandro Vitti. The series is to last twelve issues and will be published monthly from October 2020.
Obviously Keanu Reeves needs no introduction, the versatile actor has won the hearts of millions of fans throughout his eclectic career, starring in films such as Bill & Ted, Speed, The Matrix, Constantine and John Wick. Reeves has had a troubled past, his daughter to Jennifer Syme was sadly born stillborn in 1999 which led to the couple splitting, and two years later Syme passed away as the result of a car accident. Reeves is best known in popular culture as a cultural phenomena in his own right, from his youthful appearance to his genuinely appealing persona, kindness and deep respect for his fans, Reeves is one of the most popular showbiz stars of today. Reeves has thus far written two books, ‘Ode to Happiness’ and ‘Shadows: A Collaborative Project by Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves’. ‘BRZRKR’ marks Keanu’s first venture into comic writing.
Keanu Reeves has long been a comic fan and reader, stating, “You get into ‘Ghost Rider’ and you start reading Frank Miller’s ‘Dark Knight’ and your mind is blown… As a young kid, I was like, ‘Aw, man, I’d love to play Wolverine.” We may never see Reeves play Wolverine, but it has been reported Warner Bros. have offered Reeves a deal to reprise his DC Comics/Vertigo portrayal of Constantine exclusively for HBO Max, as seen in his 2005 film of the same name.
Matt Kindt is primarily an artist but has written and pencilled an impressive body of work. His most notable comic is arguably ‘Dept. H’, published by Dark Horse Comics, and both written and illustrated by Kindt. He created and wrote Unity for Valiant, as well as writing a short run on the New 52 era of Suicide Squad for DC Comics and a handful of issues at Marvel.
Alessandro Vitti is known primarily for his art on Secret Warriors for Marvel Comics, but has also illustrated an impressive number of Green Lantern and spin off books for DC Comics and has dabbled in Doctor Who for Titan Comics and the BBC.
Boom! Studios is an award winning publisher known for their licensed material with Disney, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Sons of Anarchy, Buffy and Angel, adaptations of Philip K. Dick novels, and more. Boom! also publish creator own work including Mark Waid’s standout series Irredeemable and Grant Morrison’s bizarre take on Santa Claus, ‘Klaus’.
‘BRZRKR’, which debuts on the 7th of October, has been described by USA Today as “action-packed” and “hyper-violent”, stating:
‘“BRZRKR” centers on a warrior who looks a lot like a certain beloved actor and has walked a blood-soaked path across the world for centuries. In present day, the Berzerker does dangerous jobs for the U.S. government in exchange for the truth about his existence.’
Make no mistake, while ‘BRZRKR’ is definitely a collaboration between three very talented men, the premise is the brain-child of Reeves, who pitched the idea to Boom! Studios last year, saying the Bezerker was “born 80,000″ years ago, half man, his father’s a war god”. The Bezerker is clearly designed in Keanu’s unmistakable and instantly recognisable signature image
“It’s like, ‘Yeah, I think it would be fun just to see him punch through someone’s chest or pull out a rib or rip an arm off,’ [the Berzerker] can heal to a certain extent, so it’s fun to have these kinds of outrageous consequences and still have the character kind of moving forward.” – Keanu Reeves (USA Today)
Boom! Studios have an existing contract with Netflix to produce original context for the streaming service, which started April of this year and announcements are expected soon of which comics will be adapted to live action and animated series and movies soon. We can’t help but wonder if ‘BRZRKR’ could make for a decent series or film on Netflix, starring Reeves himself. “It’s a really fun story so if it’s not me, hopefully someone can play it”, remarked Keanu when asked about this. Typical of the famously humble actor to offer the notion of any other actor playing the part destined to be played by himself. We say it’s merely a matter of time.
Before October, fans of Keanu Reeves can expect to see his return to the Bill & Ted franchise this August, with ‘Bill & Ted Face The Music’.
Words: Graeme Small