The Keanu movie cat is an unspoken ode to Keanu Reeves. Keanu Reeves originally didn’t want to get involved as the Keanu movie cat. But once he happened to see the trailer, he was all in. The only problem was, the movie had almost finished filming. But Key and Peele had love for Keanu Reeves and had him involved with a scene which still needed something extra, late in the production process. As for whether all of this will make sense and reveal why there is a cat called Keanu with his own movie, they don’t guarantee a clear explanation. But at least the movie gets major endorsement from the better known Keanu, an actor who is always lauded for his kind personality.
Director Peter Atencio premiered the movie at the South by Southwest festival in March. He managed to fit Keanu Reeves into the movie after getting a call from the actor that he was game for whatever he was needed for. Too bad his business people had refused his involvement earlier. Nonetheless, Keanu Reeves eventually approved of the Keanu movie and indeed voiced the cat, at least for a small part of the movie. As far as helping to promote the film with his image and not just his voice, that’s not yet certain. He was given an invitation to the film’s Hollywood premiere on Wednesday. His appearance there would be a true endorsement.
— Vulture (@vulture) April 26, 2016
When Keanu Reeves wasn’t lending his voice, the crew were mostly trying to wrangle cats and turn them into actors. One of the movie’s stars, Keegan-Michael Key, talked about his experience with Keanu to The Chicago Sun Times, at a recent event at a cat shelter.
“Whatever we didn’t know about cats, we sure learned a thing or two about them making this movie. Like today, we had lots of kittens around us on that set. Something we did learn was that certain cats have different dispositions and do different things.”
Keanu will open on Friday. As central as the kitten is to the movie’s image, a CinemaBlend interview revealed that a cat wasn’t originally planned to appear in the movie at all. It was originally a buddy comedy, but it needed something. It needed a hook. From later discussions emerged the Keanu movie cat. But Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele want people to see this as a movie about finding oneself. The gangster kitten aspects are just a road that the movie takes towards self-discovery. And it’s pretty much an extension of the Key & Peele Comedy Central series, same director and all.
Peter Atencio explained to the Los Angeles Times why they are not looking to answer the most pressing question about a movie with such a title.
“We didn’t want it to be something where you’re just kind of waiting for the big Keanu payoff, which is why it’s cool that he’s involved in this way — it’s a subtle way of acknowledging that of course he’s the direct inspiration for that name. The cat was named after him as an act of love for his movies, and especially the kind of movies that he makes.”
— Vulture (@vulture) April 21, 2016
Not long before the award winning Key & Peele series went off the air last year, both the two main stars, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, along with director Peter Atencio, began production on Keanu. They shot the film in Louisiana, in the sweltering southern summer heat. The movie also features Method Man, Luis Guzman, Nia Long, and several cats that all share duties playing Keanu. Cats had to be switched out for different tasks, or when they grew too big to play the Keanu movie cat over the course of filming.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]