Fast X almost cast Keanu Reeves as its secondary villain, but he would’ve been wasted in a role that competed with Jason Momoa’s wild performance.
Fast X is the latest entry in The Fast Saga, with the story seeing Dom Toretto’s family targeted more than ever. The antagonist in this film is Dante Reyes, the vengeful son of the villain from the series’ fifth movie. Hilariously played by Jason Momoa, the character is easily the franchise’s best villain yet. However, initial plans for the film would have been far, far different.
Originally, Keanu Reeves was going to play Aimes, the secondary villain of the new Fast & Furious movie. Instead, the role went to former Hunger Games actor Alan Ritchson, who played his part as well as Momoa did his. But this likely wouldn’t have worked as well with Reeves in the role, and though the John Wick star might have done a great job, it could’ve detracted from what’s become the movie’s standout feature.
Keanu Reeves Was Meant to Play One of Fast & Furious’ Newest Villains
Ritchson himself has clarified that Reeves was set to portray his character Aimes, a member of The Agency, a force that’s been a major presence in the Fast & Furious movies for the past few entries. Essentially filling the role of Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody, Aimes is all about law, order and going by the book. To that end, he sees the framed Dom and his crew as dangerous criminals who’ve been handled with kids’ gloves for too long. Tired of their defiance toward public safety and physics, Aimes sets to round them up and anyone who had ever helped them. While he at one point seems like a potential ally for Dom, this is revealed to be a ruse, with Aimes working for Dante all along.
The air surrounding the character is perfectly brought to life by Ritchson, whose star has risen in the last few years due to his success on the Amazon Prime Video adaptation of the Jack Reacher series. Square-jawed and seemingly law-abiding, Aimes is the exact opposite of Dom and his family of rebels. And when combined with his suspenders and way too-tight shirts, Ritchson comes off as if the role was always meant for him. Of course, that’s not the case, with Reeves being the original choice to play the villain. For as much as he’s likewise had a resurgence in popularity, it’s for the best that his scheduling conflicts prevented him from being a part of the series in this capacity.
Keanu Reeves as Aimes Would’ve Ruined Fast X
There’s no denying that Reeves is great, and he’s also one of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood. While this brand of star power might seem like a good thing to bring to the table, it could’ve actually detracted from Fast X. Audiences wouldn’t have seen Reeves playing a character instead of Reeves being transplanted into The Fast Saga. Ritchson’s being less well-known kept this from happening to Aimes, who was very much the secondary protagonist. The real villain was Dante, and any character taking the spotlight away from Momoa would have been a major sin for the movie.
Flamboyant, over the top and comically against type, Momoa’s performance as Dante is the highlight of the newest Fast & Furious movie. Not only is he a treat to watch, but he feels more personal and even “relatable” compared to past antagonists in the series. If he had to share the screen with Reeves, this would all be diminished, with some fans potentially wondering why the film was focusing on such a strange role for Momoa instead of doubling down on Reeves. That would especially be the case given the recent John Wick: Chapter 4, so a part in which he would’ve been downplayed anyway might not have been the best use of the actor’s talents. Sadly, it means that Reeves has yet to join the franchise, but with more cinematic laps left in the race, there’s still time for him to do so as another character.
Fast X is now playing in theaters.