Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron have appeared onscreen together twice — in the tragic romance Sweet November, and in the wonderfully bananas Devil’s Advocate. But given their mid-career explosions as action stars, what many fans really want is for them to meet onscreen in a grown-up action movie in the vein of Theron’s Atomic Blonde or Reeves’ John Wick series, which just a announced plans for a John Wick 5.
Just imagine: Furiosa vs. Johnny Utah! John Wick vs. Lorraine Broughton (Theron’s Atomic Blonde character)! Or Andy—Theron’s undying character in the new Netflix film The Old Guard—vs. Neo! Fireworks! Exclamation points! You get the idea. Ideally, they could team up, like John Wick did with Halle Berry’s assassin Sofia in John Wick 3. Maybe in John Wick 4? Or John Wick 5?
The masses—or at least me and an interviewer from The Hollywood Reporter—think a Theron-Reeves action movie is a great idea. THR asked Theron when it would happen in an interview with Theron about The Old Guard, and got the classic, tell-me-when-and-where-and-I’ll-be-there response.
“Listen, as soon as I get the call, I’ll be there,” Theron told THR. “They just have to tell me where, when and I’ll show up. Keanu is one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world; I absolutely love him. I respect him, I admire him and I am so grateful that I got to make two movies with him. We both kind of find ourselves in this new stage of our career, and so much of Atomic Blonde was influenced by John Wick. So, if we can get those two characters to meet up in a timeline that makes sense, I’m all about it.”
If a John Wick movie with Charlize Theron were to happen, it might have to get underway soon, since Lionsgate CEO John Feltheimer announced this week that John Wick 4 and 5 will be shooting simultaneously, with the first of the films expected to premiere in May 2022.
It’s interesting that Theron imagines the collaboration as a crossover between Atomic Blonde and John Wick, because that might be the hardest crossover to pull off: As she notes, the timelines of the two films don’t easily mesh.
Atomic Blonde took place in 1989, and the John Wick films take place in the present day. Theron would have to age up or Reeves would have to age down. Maybe they could set the film around 2005 and meet in the middle?
One link between the two films is David Leitch, who directed Atomic Blonde and is a producer on the John Wick films. (Leitch told The Film Stage that while he also co-directed the first John Wick, he didn’t get a credit because of DGA issues.)
Another commonality: Theron and Reeves used to practice their fighting techniques at the same gym. Extraction director Sam Hargrave, who was Theron’s stunt coordinator on Atomic Blonde, told USA Today at the premiere of the 2017 film that Theron and Reeves would train at the same location while she was prepping for Atomic Blonde and Reeves was prepping for John Wick 2.
“Charlize would look over, and Keanu would look over, and they’d train a little bit harder to push themselves,” Hargrave said.
So… we asked Hargrave, because we are a 12-year-old boy, standing on the shoulders of another 12-year-old boy, pretending to be an adult film reporter: Can Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, and Extraction star Chris Hemsworth actually fight?
“Now, the beauty of movies is, you know, the fights are designed for the heroes to win. So, so you know that regardless of their skill, the fight’s gonna go down how we designed it to,” Hargrave told us. “But yes, Keanu Reeves, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize — they put in so much time in the training. I would not want to be someone who mistakenly tried to, you know, take something from them in a dark alleyway.”
Anyway, the Theron-Reeves action team-up is coming together very cleanly in our minds, whether Hollywood is working on it or not. They could team up against Hemsworth, who, in the end, turns out to be a decent guy, and they all go after a common enemy: What about Al Pacino’s character from Devil’s Advocate? We’re just spitballing here. Leitch or Hargrave could direct. It will be great either way.
The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron, is now streaming on Netflix.