“Speed“, 1994 film directed by Jan De Bont, also later author of “Twisters“, “Haunting – Attendance” And “Tomb Raider – The cradle of life“, along with numerous other products as cinematographer, was both a commercial and critical success. Adrenaline, with high-voltage action scenes, excellent actors and with a not indifferent dose of humor, “Speed” quickly became one of the most successful genre films of the 90s. “
Speed” tells the story of Jack Traven, brave cop ready to take on any mission. One day an almost impossible challenge arrives for him: he finds himself literally imprisoned in a bus, connected to a bomb that will explode if the vehicle slows down below 80 kilometers per hour. The bus driver is also seriously injured and a young passenger Annie Porter will have to join forces with Jack to avoid a tragedy that could cause dozens of victims.
The success of the film
Addictive and winner of 3 Technical Oscarssees in the cast Keanu Reeves, at the time already an established actor, despite still missing years from the consecration with “matrix“, and Sandra Bullock, less known and that with “Speed” has given an important turn to its own popularity. With a budget of 30 million dollars De Bont’s film scored 350 at the Box Office, while the film “Speed 2 – Without limits“, also directed by him, is still considered one of the worst sequels ever made, partly due to Reeves’ absence. “Speed” also marks the first collaboration between the 2 protagonists, and is in fact also known for having fueled the rumors over the years regarding the flirtation and undeclared love between the 2 interpreters. Here are some background on one of the most famous action films, defined and considered a real cult of the genre.
15 curiosities about “Speed” highly successful action film
1. The initial scene Of “Speed“, when Keanu Reeves breaks the glass of the bus door, was an improvised and accidental element, but the director liked the moment so much that he decided to leave it in the final cut of the film.
2. Sandra Bullock has taken a bus driving course and in most of the scenes in the film she is actually driving the vehicle.
3. The sequence in which the bus manages to pass a gap by making a jump of 17 meters was shot twice: according to Jan De Bont the first fall of the bus following the momentum was not as dramatic as he had expected. The bridge used for the scene was also in front of the bus, but was then digitally erased, making the shot more dangerous than what is actually seen on screen in “Speed“.
4. Quentin Tarantino could have been the director of the film, but in those years he was busy on the set of “pulp Fiction“. The great director then repeatedly stated that “Speed” is one of his favorite films of the 90s and one that he regrets not getting to direct.
5. Keanu Reeves is now known throughout the film industry for not liking stunt doubles. In “Speed” he didn’t use any of them, it’s always him in all the action scenes. In fact, he attended numerous SWAT courses to be ready when shooting.
6. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock have admitted that they had a great understanding on the set, but also that there was never a date or a romance. Both became very close friends and did not want to ruin the relationship created, even if Sandra later admitted that she really liked Keanu Reeves.
7. During the shooting of the film, 10 different buses were used, each with 2 steering wheels, one for the actress and the other for the stuntmen who drove the bus during the most dangerous scenes.
8. Actor Dennis Hopper improvised nearly all of his lines during filming.
9. Inspiration for “Speed” the film “Runaway Train“, directed by Andrey Konchalovsky, written by the legendary Akira Kurosawa. “Runaway Train” told a story similar to that told in “Speed”, but took place on a train, with the brakes completely damaged, which therefore ran the imminent risk of not stopping and crashing into anything in front of it.
10. For Keanu Reeves, the film is linked to a difficult period in his life. In fact, the actor had just lost a great friend of his: River Phoenix, brother of Joaquin Phoenix. Keanu Reeves later stated several times, through tears, that River would have loved the film.
11. The watch Keanu Reeves is wearing in the scene, a Casio G-Shock DX-5600C, experienced a dramatic increase in sales following the film’s release.
12. The idea for the bus’s famous 55-foot jump, which wasn’t initially featured in the script, occurred to the director on a road trip to Los Angeles, when he saw that the freeway I-105 it was broken in one place, i.e. a part was completely missing.
13. Keanu Reeves, iconic interpretation of the character, was not the director’s first choice, initially the most popular for the role was Stephen Baldwin. The director next thought of Reeves after seeing him in “Point Break.” Jan De Bont removed all doubts during the first reading of the screenplay, above all for the alchemy that the two protagonists immediately had.
14. Even the character of the villain risked not going to Dennis Hopper, De Bont was in fact undecided between him and Christopher Walken.
15. Keanu Reeves refused to take part in the sequel to the film, replaced by fact Jason Patrick, being engaged in the theater in Hamlet. Not even the cachet of 12 million dollars convinced him, going so far as to greatly exacerbate relations between him and FOX, who then returned to work together only in 2008 for “Ultimatum alla Terra”.