Keanu Reeves has reportedly abruptly exited action-adventure film “The Detail” and, according to Deadline, producer Avi Lerner is as pissed as a nympho with a crutch wart about it.
The “John Wick” star was expected to front – what was sure to be up there with some of Nic Cage’s last half-a-dozen efforts – a Simon Crane directed flick, kicking off in South Africa in October. Producer/financier Steve Richards at Endurance Media was financing along with Lerner’s Millennium Films.
On Monday, the “Hitman’s Bodyguard” and “Expendables” producer got the call – from Richards – that Reeves had dropped out. Did the actor rent the producers back catalogue?
(Ironically, “Speed” told us the actor usually tackles bombs head on not away from them.)
“I got a call at the beginning of the week and he said Keanu walked away from the movie. I said why? Did he not like the director, the script? No, I was told, he just has a problem with the next movie,” said Lerner, who said the clash was with “John Wick 3”.
Lerner said it made no sense because “Wick” wasn’t expected to lens until next year, and his film was due to wrap before Christmas.
Clearly, Reeves has other reasons for pulling out. Was it the supporting cast? That’s what Deadline was told, anyway. According to reps for the father, Reeves deal was contingent upon the cast.
Suggesting 50 Cent and the monkey from “Every Which Way But Loose” had been cast as his sidekicks in the film, Reeves balked.
“That’s a lie,” said Lerner. “There was a deal. It was not contingent on cast. We agreed to go over to whomever he wanted to go to. First it was Antonio Banderas, then Gary Oldman. Keanu led us to believe that he was doing the movie. I’ve done 400 movies in my life. We are not going to pre-production if there was not a deal. They knew we were spending money. There was a deal. There was not a signed deal, but we agreed on every point. A verbal agreement is an agreement. I’ve done so many movies. It’s a contract, unless it’s to do with chain of title. We saw the deal on paper. Why should anyone get away with this?”
Reeves’ lawyer backed up his client, saying the “Bill & Ted” alum hasn’t closed his deal yet and that casting contingency was a big part of him agreeing to do the film.
Lerner said he’s decided to bitch openly about Reeves so that this kind of brouhaha doesn’t happen to other fellows in the same game.
“The guy committed to doing the movie. We had a contracts with him, negotiated with his lawyer and had everything done. Every point. For whatever reason he comes back and says he had a problem with the schedule of his next movie at Lionsgate, John Wick. I’m employing a hundred people in South Africa and the director is there, and we are hiring people, and we agree with him on all the creative things on this movie and then he just walks away.”
“He (Reeves) didn’t care about the producer we hired, the director we hired and everyone spent money and relied on the work on the movie. The deal was closed financially and legally, but suddenly he discovered there was a problem with another movie? There was no scheduling conflict.”
From the sounds of it, the movie is off. Lerner says he has to now “fire” all the crew – that does kinda suck, admittedly – and try and recoup some of the lost costs.
Thing is, if it’s true there was no deal made, and furthermore, that Reeves’ impending deal was cast contingent, then it’s possible Johnny Utah is on the level.
Considering Lerner has had a falling out with Sly Stallone over similar matters in recent times (resulting in Stallone exiting Lerner’s “Expendables 4”), it seems a little premature to take Reeves out the back and pummel him.