Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves is one of the biggest movie stars in an era that doesn’t have many left. From his earliest films like "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure" up to 2021’s "Matrix Resurrections," he has headlined some of the biggest cultural touchstones of the last forty years. His star keeps getting bigger, as his considerable swagger and physical prowess took the "John Wick" series from low-budget action movie into one of Hollywood’s hottest modern franchises.

Although he starred in 2005’s "Constantine," based on the DC Comics character, Reeves has never played the sort of traditional full-on, special-powers-wielding superhero role that many of his contemporaries have turned into long-running, lucrative franchises. In a recent interview, the actor raised eyebrows by making it sound like it’s just a matter of time before he takes on a role in the MCU.

"It would be an honor," he said. "There’s some really amazing directors and visionaries, and they’re doing something that no one’s really ever done. It’s special in that sense, in terms of the scale, the ambition, the production. So it would be cool to be a part of that."

While that may sound like the kind of person jockeying for a job, if he were to join the MCU, who would Keanu play? Some of the biggest parts are taken, and at 57, he’s too old to play a new young hero. Fortunately, there’s a number of plum roles still available; scroll on for the best Marvel superheroes (and villains) that could be perfect roles for Keanu Reeves.

Silver Surfer

Silver Surfer above Earth

Given Reeves’ physical strength and penchant for playing stoic personalities, the herald of cosmic foe Galactus, the Silver Surfer, is almost too perfect a fit. Some may nix the idea, wanting a more left-field candidate for the fan favorite. But Marvel has been known to go with the obvious casting choices from time to time — Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange is a good example — and sometimes the obvious choice is the best one. It’s hard to argue that Keanu Reeves would be anything but captivating as the surfing alien and wielder of the power cosmic.

Arriving on Earth to prepare the planet for the coming of his master Galactus, Reeves’ stone cold resolve would make for a formidable quasi-villain to oppose the Fantastic Four and intimidate mankind ahead of its imminent destruction. If he ultimately turned against Galactus to save mankind, as in some comics, Reeves could flex his acting chops to show the Surfer’s turn to hero. Silver Surfer may be considered emotionless by some, but the role would offer Reeves the rare opportunity to play both a villain and a hero in the same film.

Sebastian Shaw

Sebastian Shaw cocks an eyebrow

Some fans have dreams of Reeves playing a Marvel hero, but it could be even more exciting to see him take on a rare villainous role. Looking at the list of villains yet to be introduced in the MCU, there’s one foe of the X-Men that jumps out as a good choice: Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club — whose members include Emma Frost, Magneto, and Jean Grey’s evil clone Madelyne Pryor.

Though Shaw has been seen in X-films before (played by Kevin Bacon in "X-Men: First Class"), he and his Hellfire Club were sorely underserved and hardly seen in that film. The backstory of the club, Shaw, and their place in Marvel’s history deserves to be explored in its own story, perhaps one focused on Madelyne Pryor (who he would become romantically linked to) — a major X-element that has yet to be touched upon. Keanu Reeves as the aristocratic, mutton-chopped mutant mastermind Shaw would be a dream, with the actor in a role that would allow him the wide breadth of over-the-top personality he’s rarely portrayed, while still being the dark, reserved presence he has played so well in the past.

The Sentry flies through rocks
Dracular reaches forward
Machine Man shoots Iron Man 2020
The Beyond above Earth with the Avengers
Hit Monkey with guns in the air
Mr. Sinister smiles
Dark Hawk explodes with purple energy
Dr. Doom takes off his helmet
Black Bolt
Ghost Rider whips a chain