Keanu Reeves has signed on to produce and star in two projects based on his BOOM! Studios comic book limited series BRZRKR for Netflix. The first will be a live-action film, which Reeves will star in, and the second will be an anime spinoff series where he will voice the titular character.
So this is officially the creation of the BRZRKR cinematic universe — or the BRZRKRCU? – which adds to Reeves’ impressive slate of franchises along with The Matrix and John Wick.
But for those that don’t know, what is BRZRKR? Well it’s a 12-issue limited comic book series based on an idea Reeves has been developing for years. It’s kind of John Wick on steroids. The titular character can do things like make a man’s head explode with a single punch, before murdering another by stabbing him with a chunk of his own ribcage.
It’s been described as if The Old Guard mutated with a modern military action film like Black Hawk Down. The comic is created by Reeves, written by Reeves and New York Times bestselling writer Matt Kindt, and illustrated by Ron Garney with colours by Bill Crabtree, letters by Clem Robins, and character designs and covers by Rafael Grampá.
It’s no surprise why Netflix would see major potential in not just one, but two adaptations of the comic. As mentioned, John Wick is one of the most popular franchises around right now. So grabbing the man who plays Wick and letting him develop his own similarly violent comic book creation in two forms should be something the same audience demographic is interested in.
Netflix have had incredible success over the last decade, but they’re still searching for the kind of major franchise that many traditional studios can rely on. There’s a reason they keep putting out action movies in the hope that one or two will really hit, leading to the start of a potential cinematic universe, arguably the holy grail for studios right now.
BRZRKR, with its big star, comic book source material and cool action premise, has all the ingredients to do exactly that. Expect Netflix to put a lot of work into making this a success.