Speed Is a Classic
The original Speed is one of my all-time favorite action movies.
It holds up to this day, twenty-five years since its release, as one of the most fun and thrilling summer blockbusters of all time.
It was so successful in 1994 that, of course, there simply had to be a sequel. And in 1997, Speed 2: Cruise Control, unfortunately, crashed and burned, and majorly disappointed audiences, all but assuring there would never be a Speed 3.
But it’s been more than two decades since the hated sequel was released, and Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves are not only still going strong in their respective careers but also appearing in major studio sequels like Ocean’s 8 and John Wick 3.
One of the reasons Speed 2 didn’t deliver was that Keanu Reeves failed to return and was instead replaced by Jason Patric.
Sandra and Keanu did reunite in 2006 for the underrated romantic drama, The Lake House. Their chemistry on-screen is so palpable that I’ve been waiting for them to do something together again in the latter half of their careers.
Laugh if you want to, disagree if you want to, but I believe in this current age of so many reboots and reimaginings and dustings off of old film studio properties, there is absolutely room for a truly great sequel to the original Speed.
And here are 25 reasons why…
1. Speed is still a beloved film.
It’s been 25 years, but people still adore the 1994 action movie. And the title still means something to people. There would absolutely be interest in a new sequel given the affection people have for the original.
2. Speed deserves a sequel that matches the original.
Speed 2: Cruise Control left a bad taste in so many mouths, and a terrific third installment would help wipe that taste away. It would again show why the original is such a celebrated classic in the modern action genre.
3. Speed is celebrating its 25th anniversary, a good reason for people to return to it and remember why they loved it.
25th anniversaries are always special for films, and this year it’s particularly special given all the wonderful films that came out in 1994, like Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, The Lion King, Dumb and Dumber, and countless others. The anniversary gives people another chance to remember what worked so well about the original Speed.
4. Speed made 350 million worldwide on a budget of 30 million.
The original film was one of the runaway box office successes of 1994. If the costs could be kept down on a third installment, and most of the special effects could be done for real like in the 1994 movie, there’s no telling how much money a new sequel could make.
5. Speed has energy and propulsion to its storytelling that deserves to be replicated again.
Very few action films released before and after Speed have been able to replicate its amazing energy, the constant tension, one surprise after another. It would be fun to see filmmakers try to do it again.
6. Keanu Reeves is still more prolific and popular than ever.
Keanu isn’t going away anytime soon. His career is still going super strong, appearing in two to five films a year, including most lately his John Wick trilogy.
7. Keanu Reeves is still making action films.
The John Wick movies truly are fantastic. I even liked the sequel better than the original! The energy to these films reminds me of Speed in a way, the just constant suspense and action that never lets up.
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8. Keanu Reeves is open to third films in a franchise.
Not only is John 3 coming out in May but he has also announced the official start date of Bill & Ted 3, which is to be released sometime in 2020. He also, of course, made two sequels to The Matrix. He’s clearly open to being in the third film of a beloved franchise. Why not Speed 3?
9. Keanu Reeves openly said the main reason he didn’t do Speed 2 was that he hated the script.
Who wouldn’t of course? I’ve read that there really wasn’t much of a script when the sequel began shooting in 1996. But he says he loves working with Sandra, and he wasn’t necessarily against doing another Speed. What if someone could come up with a premise that was original and exciting? I’d bet he’d at least consider it!
10. Keanu Reeves would clearly love to work with Sandra Bullock again.
When making the rounds for The Lake House he said how exciting it was to act with her again, and when Sandra won the Hotness of the Decade award at the Guys’ Choice Awards in 2014, he clearly was still in awe of her in every way. If she showed interest in a super promising sequel to Speed, I’m sure he would show interest, too!
11. Speed 2: Cruise Control isn’t that bad.
OK, OK, it’s pretty bad when compared to the original, I’ll give you that, but I feel like this 1997 sequel has been unfairly maligned over the years. Sure, it’s stupid. Sure, a cruise ship as a setting for an action film in no way matches the bus setting of Speed. But there are moments that are fun, though, like the ship crashing into the dock, Willem Dafoe hamming it up as the creepy villain, and Sandra wielding a giant chainsaw. It’s not good entertainment, but it has its moments.
12. Speed 2 actually wasn’t the huge box office disaster you thought it was.
It vastly underperformed in the United States, making only 48 million, but did you know it actually raked in an additional 116 million worldwide? If Speed 2 had been made on a limited budget like the original, it probably would have been looked at as a soft hit, but the problem with the sequel was its exorbitant budget, reaching apparently 160 million (which is ridiculous). If the cost of a third film could go down, say to 60 or 70 million, there would be more of a chance for box office success.
13. People still love their action films.
While no, they don’t exactly do as well as the latest and greatest superhero movies, action movies continue to be big successes at the box office. Look at the Mission: Impossible franchise. Six movies and counting, and the movies are just getting better and better! Look at the Fast & Furious franchise, which is reaching ten films. Don’t tell me a third Speed is a totally ridiculous idea when a ninth and tenth Fast & Furious film are currently on their way to theaters.
14. Nostalgia is huge for audiences when it comes to studio films these days.
Studios love to release movies that have pre-awareness for audiences, films that strike a chord for people just when they hear the title. I mean, look at the slate for 2019, we’ve got Aladdin and The Lion King and Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4 and Star Wars: Episode 9 coming from Disney. A new Child’s Play, a new Men in Black, a new X-Men. Why not a new Speed?
15. 20th Century Fox needs more hits.
Do you know what studio is doing the best these days? You might have guessed it — Disney. Do you know what studio isn’t doing so hot? 20th Century Fox, which distributed both Speed films, and which is currently sitting at #7 at the most profitable studios in Hollywood. Their only big film so far this year has been Alita: Battle Angel, which underperformed in February. The only for-sure box office success later this year is the latest X-Men installment. They’re in need of a hit, and a new Speed could definitely be that movie!
16. Sandra Bullock is one of the most beloved A-list superstars in Hollywood.
Four decades into her career as an actress, Sandra Bullock is hotter than ever. Since Speed, she won an Academy Award for The Blind Side, appeared in huge box office hits like Miss Congeniality, The Proposal, and Gravity, which also earned her an Oscar nomination. Just this past year she appeared in Ocean’s 8, which grossed 300 million worldwide, and Bird Box, the Netflix hit that went totally viral over the holiday season. People love her, and they would absolutely support her if she signed on to a new Speed sequel.
17. Sandra Bullock hasn’t made an action film in a really, really long time.
There was a small window in time where Sandra Bullock, yes, made action movies! 1993’s Demolition Man, followed by Speed, and then 1995’s The Net. After Speed 2, she basically swore off action movies forever, and the only one that I guess could be considered an action movie is Gravity, which she actually won an award for at the Critic’s Choice Awards called Best Actress in an Action Film. It’s a genre that always fit her well, and so it would be a blast to see her one last time do a really kick-ass action movie.
18. Sandra Bullock, like Keanu Reeves, is certainly open to sequels.
You’d think she would have sworn off sequels forever after appearing in Speed 2, but eight years later she made the unfortunate Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, and then of course last year she appeared in Ocean’s 8, a semi-sequel to the original trilogy starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. She certainly isn’t looking for new sequels to be in, but I bet she’d consider Speed 3 if a seriously talented filmmaking team were able to come up with a fantastic pitch.
19. Sandra Bullock’s character of Annie could be explored in a deeper way.
Her character Annie in the original Speed is fresh and vibrant, one of the best parts of that movie by far, but in the 1997 sequel she became a joke in a way, a terrible driver who basically sits off to the side while her man played by Jason Patric saves the day on the cruise ship. What I would love to see is a new hardened Annie in Speed 3, a woman faced with extraordinary circumstances who comes to fight and defeat the enemy. A woman similar to the one she played in Bird Box. How freaking awesome would that be?
20. Sandra Bullock would also clearly love to work with Keanu Reeves again.
When they made the rounds promoting Speed in 1994, Sandra couldn’t stop gushing about Keanu. And then again in 2006, she kept saying how great it was to act with him again in The Lake House and that it had been too long, and that they should find something else to collaborate on again one day. She even appeared on Ellen last winter gushing, again, about Keanu. She clearly would be open to working with him again!
21. The original film’s director Jan de Bont hasn’t made a film since 2003.
The man has five directorial credits to his name, including 1996’s Twister and 1999’s The Haunting, and he hasn’t directed a film since 2003’s sequel Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life, so he’s probably long retired. But what if he returned one more time for a truly awesome second sequel to Speed? I would love to see him make another film again.
22. Or 20th Century Fox could enlist a hugely talented young director looking to make his mark in Hollywood.
Maybe some new blood could help a third Speed installment. Somebody young and hungry who has what it takes to make a superb action movie and wants to deliver to audiences something that will remind them of the genius and joy of the 1994 original? Somebody who could really blow our minds.
23. The jokes could finally, finally stop about Speed 2.
Sandra Bullock specifically has endured the jokes for twenty-two years. At awards shows. On red carpets. She still gets made fun of for the 1997 sequel. Like when she won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actress in 2010 and George Lopez said to the audience, “You thought she couldn’t top her work in Speed 2!” Like when Blake Shelton on Ellen last winter said one of his three favorite movies of Sandra’s was Speed 2. And like when an interviewer asked Sandra while she was doing press for Gravity if she would do a Speed 3 with Keanu in space, and she didn’t seem too happy about the prospect. A really, really great Speed 3 could erase the stink of Speed 2, it absolutely could.
24. The love of the original Speed would remain alive and well for another 25 years.
As I’ve said before, people still love Speed, but it’s definitely not on a lot of radars these days as other beloved film franchises. A new, superb Speed sequel would bring people back to the 1994 original and remind them once again why they loved it so much then and still today.
25. Not only is it the 25th anniversary of Speed, but the number of the bus in Speed is 2525, and this article now lists 25 reasons. It’s fate!
So come on, Hollywood. Make it happen!
OK, I know, this is probably wishful thinking on my part. Speed 3 will likely never come to fruition, at least with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.
But someday? Maybe? It’s certainly possible. A lot crazier things have happened, after all… especially in Hollywood.