It’s hard to make an action movie as perfect as Speed.
The classic 1994 action-thriller stars Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock as an unlikely duo tasked with saving a group of people from the dastardly plan of a mad bomber. You likely know the story — the villain has placed on a bomb on a bus that activates once it reaches 50 miles per hour, and if the bus subsequently dips below that speed, then the bomb goes off. The film was a massive hit, but sadly, Speed 2: Cruise Control didn’t reach the same heights, partly because Keanu Reeves didn’t return as Officer Jack Traven.
The franchise has remained dormant for the last couple of decades, but that hasn’t stopped rumors from swirling every so often that a third film could be made. After all, other classic action movies, like Top Gun, get sequels made after decades, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility for Speed to receive the same treatment.
That turned out to be a prominent point of discussion when Speed director Jan de Bont sat down with Collider to talk about his filmography. He hasn’t directed a film since 2003’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life, and based on his response, fans shouldn’t expect another de Bont-helmed Speed movie any time soon.
Jan de Bont would return for Speed 3 if the story’s right
In the interview, de Bont is asked if he has any ideas for a Speed 3 and if he would return for a sequel. His response: “It depends on how the story is, I think.” He doesn’t say whether he has any ideas, so it’s unlikely he’s ruminating on the topic as of this moment.
It looks pretty bleak for Speed fans hoping for a sequel any time soon. Based on de Bont’s remarks, it sounds like he only thinks another movie would work if Keanu Reeves came back. “Generally, I’m not a huge fan for sequels,” the filmmaker explained. “I had in my contract that I would do a sequel. If you have to, you have to have the cast to want to come back too because, otherwise, you have to tell a whole new movie. Because some of the first one was so much centered around [Reeves] and about him, the awkwardness a little bit in him being a hero. And that awkwardness of being in a position to be a hero… That worked really well for him but it doesn’t work well for other actors. And it’s really hard to find that same kind of feeling back.”
Reeves had the perfect everyman-type attitude for the lead role in Speed as an ordinary police officer who is thrown into extraordinary circumstances and has to find a way to rise above it. De Bont seems to think Reeves would need to return to make Speed 3 work, and considering he’s hard at work at some other sequels at the moment (namely John Wick 4 and The Matrix 4), it’s hard to think of when he’ll have the time to work on another big-budget project any time soon.
On the other hand, a studio could always push ahead on Speed 3 without de Bont or Reeves. However, as of right now, it seems like this is one trilogy that will never be completed.