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SDCC '22: Keanu Reeves talks 'BRZRKR' and more

Comic Books

SDCC ’22: Keanu Reeves talks ‘BRZRKR’ and more

Keanu Reeves dishes on the creative process, ‘BRZRKR’ and its Netflix film adaptation.

Don’t get me wrong: I love that San Diego Comic-Con involves much more than mere comics, but it can feel like the printed page has taken a significant backseat to films and TV. That was not the case Friday in Hall H when a current comic series packed thousands of seats, a first in many years for the San Diego Con. 

It didn’t hurt that one of the biggest movie stars in the world was one of the comic’s creators. Specifically, Keanu Reeves.

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SDCC '22: Keanu Reeves talks 'BRZRKR' and more

Friday’s keynote event featured BOOM! Studios’ comics smash hit BRZRKR, a series approaching its final issues. The success of the book is in part due to its star-studded co-author: Actor Keanu Reeves. After moderator Coy Jandreau introduced panelists Matt Kindt (BRZRKR co-writer), Ron Garney (BRZRKR artist), along with Matt Gagnon and Eric Harburn from BOOM!, the man of the hour walked across the stage to thunderous applause.

In a few brief moments, it was clear why Keanu Reeves is a massive megastar, as the level of energy and excitement in the room exploded. The charisma and enthusiasm radiated from the stage; it was a genuine site to see. 

Keanu Reeves BRZRKR

The panelists discussed the success of their comic hero in all its bloody yet emotionally sincere glory. When asked what inspired Keanu to create the character, he said that he wanted to make a comic where there is “punching someone through the chest.” While this reaped applause from the audience, Reeves and his co-writer was quick to point out that the success of the book has as much to do with its deep characters as it does with its violence. Or, as Kindt put it, “it’s not just action, but there is heart in there…not just the beating hurt.” The incredible art from Ron Garney has given the title a distinct persona and ample space for the artist to grow and push themselves as a creator. As Garney noted, BRZRKR is a “huge exercise in what you can do with a comic book.” 

Keanu showed great reverence to his creative team and BOOM! for curating his expertise. For decades, Reeves held a positive reputation for being open and collaborative, and this mentality helped make the book the smashing success it became. The fact that Keanu was himself a diehard comic fan as a kid came through to everyone he worked with creating BRZRKR. Stephen Christy explained how when meeting Keanu, they “spent an hour just talking about comics” before discussing how to adapt the comic to the silver screen. 

SDCC '22: Keanu Reeves talks 'BRZRKR' and more

Keanu reflected on this work being “some of the best creative days in my life” and the giddy child-like feeling he had when he held the first issue in his hands. This enthusiasm was so vibrantly displayed, that it was clear why this book has garnered much attention and wasn’t a lazy attempt to attach a star’s name to an existing property. 

SDCC '22: Keanu Reeves talks 'BRZRKR' and more

The comic creators were rather evasive about giving any details about the final issues of the comic, only promising that it would be something worth waiting for. 

SDCC '22: Keanu Reeves talks 'BRZRKR' and more

Of course, no one expected a panel of this magnitude to focus on the comic series solely. It was revealed that not only has Netflix picked up the title to make a feature-length film, but also an anime adaptation from Production IG, known for their Ghost in the Shell series. Both of these media properties will adapt the series in their creative ways and may not be beholden to the existing comic storyline. Additionally, Keanu is working with Random House and an unrevealed author to create a novel version of BRZRKR that will tell an original story as well. 


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