Why Keanu Reeves 'Just Couldn't Do' The Sequel To Speed

In terms of silly sequel ideas, 1997's "Speed 2: Cruise Control" is the king of them. The original "Speed" was a beloved action thriller, but it was the sort of movie with a premise so specific it could only really be done once. After all, what are the odds that the same cop would find himself on yet another mass transportation vehicle he needed to stop from exploding?

Keanu Reeves had the same thought, which is why he famously chose not to star in the follow-up movie. Although he certainly enjoyed working with co-star Sandra Bullock and director Jan de Bont, the very premise of the sequel just didn't work for him: "It was just a situation in life where I got the script and I read the script and I was like, 'Ugh,'" he said, "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 led to a falling out between Reeves and 20th Century Fox: "I didn't work with [Fox] again until 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' [in 2008]," Reeves told GQ.

A messy situation

It was certainly the right call for Reeves. The movie was a critical and financial disappointment, one that did not exactly pave the way for "Speed 3." Admittedly, some of the movie's failure was the result of Reeves' absence from the project. But if we're being honest, no amount of Keanu Reeves could fix this mess of a movie. Everything about it indicates a soulless cash grab sequel.

Even the other big star that stuck around for the movie, Sandra Bullock, doesn't have many nice things to say about it. In an interview earlier this year, Bullock admitted that she wished she hadn't signed onto it. "I'm still embarrassed I was in," she said. "I've been very vocal about it. Makes no sense. Slow boat. Slowly going towards an island."

And even though the decision may have temporarily cost Reeves' his relationship with Fox, it was hardly the death of his career. Not longer after, Reeves landed an even bigger role as the star of "The Matrix," and has since seemed to have had a great time playing characters like John Wick and John Constantine. "Speed" may have helped launch both Reeves and Bullock into stardom, but neither of them let "Speed 2" drag their careers down.