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SYFY WIRE Constantine

'I've tried': Keanu Reeves would still really like to play John Constantine one more time

Keanu Reeves names John Constantine as the character he'd most like to revive next.

By Matthew Jackson
A still from the film Constantine (2005) featuring Keanu Reeves.

Next week, The Matrix Resurrections hits theaters, restoring Keanu Reeves to a role he hasn't played in nearly 20 years. Reeves never thought he'd inhabit Neo, the master hacker turned savior of humanity, again, but writer/director Lana Wachowski revived him for a fourth film in the franchise, giving the superstar yet another iconic character resurrection in his long filmography. But there are still other roles Reeves would like to revive, including one he's tried and failed to get off the ground.

Reeves stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night to promote Resurrections, and in the course of the interview, Colbert latched onto a key theme in the actor's recent work: From the ongoing John Wick franchise to Bill and Ted Face the Music to the fourth Matrix film, he's now officially in the habit of returning to iconic roles over and over again. With that in mind, Colbert asked him which other character he'd most like to return to, and suggested that as soon as Reeves said it on national television, it would be on its way to reality.

"That's not true," Reeves said. "That's not true."

"Who's not gonna want Keanu Reeves to be in another Keanu Reeves movie?" Colbert countered.

"Because that happens," Reeves replied, then added: "I want to play...I would love to play John Constantine again, from the Constantine film."

After the audience broke into spontaneous applause, Colbert followed up and asked if Reeves was really saying "on national television" that he was willing to play the chain-smoking sorcerer and demon hunter again "with the prospect" of Colbert himself putting in a cameo. 

"Are you saying...that no one would make that movie?" Colbert asked.

Reeves could only look down at his feet and say, "I've tried. I've tried, Stephen."

You can watch the full exchange, followed by a breakdown of the infamous "Sad Keanu" meme, in the video below:

It's not the first time talk of efforts to make a Constantine sequel has come up. During the film's 15th anniversary panel at Comic-Con@Home 2020, Reeves, director Francis Lawrence, and producer Akiva Goldsman all talked about their efforts to get an R-rated sequel off the ground in the wake of Constantine's 2005 release, but it never quite happened. 

"It endlessly came up. Boy, we wanted to," Goldsman said. "We wanted to make a hard-R sequel, we wanted to...oh God, yeah. I think we'd probably make it tomorrow."

If anyone at Warner Bros. is still listening, apparently Reeves is still on board. 

The Matrix Resurrections is in theaters and on HBO Max Dec. 22.