Alan Ritchson says he took over Fast X role from Keanu Reeves: 'Tough act to follow'
Warning: This story contains spoilers from Fast X.
Keanu Reeves keeps drifting around the Fast & Furious franchise.
According to longtime Fast writer Chris Morgan, the legendary John Wick star had previously been in talks to join the saga in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, playing the villain behind the voice in charge of the Eteon organization. And now Fast X star Alan Ritchson reveals that Reeves was also in talks to play the villain in the latest installment as well.
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When speaking to EW, Ritchson explains that he wasn't actually the first person in mind to play Aimes, the new head of The Agency who betrays Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) by working with sociopath Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa). "It was just a little stroke of luck and good timing," he says. "I was working on [Ordinary Angels], a movie with Hilary Swank up in Winnipeg in the freezing cold, and I got a call that things had shifted in the plans with Keanu Reeves, which is I think who was originally intended to play my part. Tough act to follow."
Ritchson added there were "a lot of timing issues" that almost resulted in yet another recasting for the role. "Basically the deal was if there's no problems, we don't shut down for COVID or weather, this should work, and about two weeks later, we got news that we were going to get hit with the biggest blizzard in Winnipeg's history," the actor says. "All production shut down. It was disheartening. I thought it was over before it began, but luckily we worked it out and they were able to push the dates a little more."
However, Ritchson thought he lost out on the chance to join the Fast family again when some behind-the-scenes changes shook up everything. "I got another call while I was filming from Jeff Kirschenbaum, who produces Fast, and he sounded real low," he says. "I was like, 'Oh, God. Whatever you've got to say, just say it. I can take it. I'm a big boy.' He goes, 'You're not going to be working with [director] Justin [Lin] on this.' I was like, 'Okay ... am I still in the movie?'"
He laughs before continuing, "He was like, 'Yeah, of course. We're excited to work with you, but we've decided to go our separate ways with Justin.' I was like, 'Okay, you can just say that next time!' So I'm very grateful that it worked out."
Fast X is now playing in theaters.
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