‘Fast X’: Alan Ritchson Says He Replaced Keanu Reeves In Key Role

Ever since Dwayne Johnson arrived in Fast Five, adding star power with each new film has been a hallmark of the Fast & Furious franchise. For instance, Fast X really piles it on with Jason Momoa and Brie Larson, nearly making you forget other recent additions such as John Cena and Charlize Theron. But another new member of Vin Diesel’s familia is Reacher brickhouse, Alan Ritchson, as the mysterious agent Aimes. But according to Ritchson, he wasn’t the first in line for that role.

Talking with EW about how he landed the role of Aimes, Ritchson revealed that he was busy on another project when he got the offer. But it only came after the previous actor, Keanu Reeves, ran into scheduling conflicts and had to split…

“It was just a little stroke of luck and good timing. I was working on a movie with Hilary Swank up in Winnipeg in the freezing cold, and I got a call that things had shifted in the plans with Keanu Reeves, which is I think who was originally intended to play my part. Tough act to follow.”

If that’s true, then Universal and Vin Diesel did a damn good job keeping it secret. Reeves is rumored for just about every major franchise under the sun, though, and maybe Ritchson is getting rumor mixed-up with fact. Then again, he’d know better than any of us, right?

Ritchson also talked about the shake-up on Fast X that saw longtime director Justin Lin exit, only to be replaced by Louis Leterrier. At first, Ritchson thought the axe might be coming down on his head, instead.

“I got another call while I was filming from Jeff Kirschenbaum, who produces ‘Fast,’ and he sounded real low,” said Ritchson. “I was like, ‘Oh, God. Whatever you’ve got to say, just say it. I can take it. I’m a big boy.’ He goes, ‘You’re not going to be working with [director] Justin [Lin] on this.’ I was like, ‘Okay … am I still in the movie?’”

He continued, “He was like, ‘Yeah, of course. We’re excited to work with you, but we’ve decided to go our separate ways with Justin.’ I was like, ‘Okay, you can just say that next time!’ So I’m very grateful that it worked out.

Ritchson can be seen now in Fast X in a very important role.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.