Keanu Reeves is the latest movie star to set his sights on the small screen.
The “47 Ronin” star is taking on his first major TV role with an adaptation of Barry Eisler's bestselling “Rain” book series, distributor and executive-producer Slingshot Global Media announced today. Reeves will produce and star in the project, a “globetrotting action drama” series centering on John Rain, a half-Japanese, half-American assassin who specializes in executing hits that make death look accidental. Unsurprisingly, Rain's chosen profession also serves as a barrier to forming close personal connections – a tension that will undoubtedly serve as a thematic crux of the new series.
“As a huge fan of Barry”s work, I”m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring his iconic character and incredible world to life,” said Reeves in a statement. “I”m looking forward to partnering with Slingshot on my first series, and reteaming with [producers] Chad [Stahelski] and David [Leitch].”
Added Slingshot head David Ellender: “We are extremely excited to be working on a beloved property with such a talented and hard-working actor as Keanu. This series will be the launch pad for the company and highlight our talent-focused, quality-based approach within the ever-changing and expanding television space.”
“Rain” is Slingshot's first announced project since forming in February. No network is yet attached to the prospective series.
In other Keanu-related news, NBC and Warner Bros. Television are moving forward on a TV adaptation of the actor's 1997 horror film “The Devil's Advocate,” which saw Reeves starring as a young attorney hired at a top New York City law firm run by Satan himself (Al Pacino). As noted by EW, the developing series will follow such recent demonic-themed TV flops as ABC's “666 Park Ave.” and NBC's own “Rosemary's Baby” miniseries, so the network may have its work cut out for in getting viewers onboard (it's worth noting that “Constantine,” a TV adaptation of the “Hellblazer” comic-book series that also inspired the same-named 2005 film starring Reeves, is set to debut in October on the Peacock network).
Reeves had two films in theaters last year: the big-budget action flop “47 Ronin” and martial arts thriller “The Man of Tai Chi” (the latter of which was the actor's directorial debut). He'll next be seen in the action-thriller “John Wick” opposite Bridget Moynahan and Willem Dafoe (October 24) and courtroom drama “The Whole Truth” co-starring Renee Zellweger.
Do either of these projects spark your interest? Let us know in the comments.