Keanu Reeves, who played the lead role in The Matrix, has earned more money than any other actor in a franchise film in history.
Keanu Reeves, the renowned actor, portrayed the iconic character of Neo (Thomas Anderson), a computer programmer turned cybercriminal, in all four movies of The Matrix franchise.
In case of any memory lapse, the plot of the movie revolves around a dystopian future where humans are trapped in a simulated reality called 'the Matrix,' created by intelligent machines to use their bodies as a source of energy.
After discovering the truth about the simulated reality, Neo teams up with other humans who have been liberated from 'the Matrix' and fights against the machines as part of a rebellion.
The first film of the franchise, released in 1999, took the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction to another level, grossing an impressive $467.2 million at the box office with a budget of $63 million.
Consequently, Keanu Reeves, who played the role of Neo, has earned more than any other actor for his part in the franchise.
Reportedly, Keanu Reeves has surpassed Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. in earnings for their roles in Mission Impossible and Avengers franchises respectively.
An unofficial list of actors who have received $30 million or more for a single production reveals that Keanu's total income for The Matrix franchise was an impressive $156,000,000.
The figure is simply mind-boggling.
Taking second place with a total income of $100,000,000 each were Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, and Will Smith.
Despite a successful film career, Keanu Reeves was offered the option of adopting a different stage name early on. The reason was that some people considered 'Keanu' too exotic.
Reeves recounted the incident in an interview with Good Morning America, ahead of the release of The Matrix Resurrections.
The 57-year-old explained: "So, I'm 20 years old, I'm in my first car, I wanted to be in movies, I went to Hollywood. And I get there and they're like, 'we wanna change your name'."
Reeves questioned their suggestion but still tried to come up with alternative names to make a good impression.
After taking a deep breath, he gave interviewer Michael Strahan a name, "Chuck Spadina."
"I just came up with ridiculous names," he added.
Reeves ultimately decided to keep his given name, much to the relief of his fans and supporters. He revealed that he simply couldn't bring himself to make the change.