EXCLUSIVE: Keanu Reeves is making a foray into television with Rain, an hourlong series from Slingshot Global Media based on the best-selling book series by Barry Eisler. The Matrix star will topline the globe-trotting action drama and will executive produce alongside Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, his directors in the upcoming feature John Wick, as well as Eisler and Slingshot Global Media, which will distribute the show. Rain marks Reeves’ first major TV series acting and producing gig.
This marks the first series from Slingshot, the Los Angeles-based company launched in February by former FremantleMedia topper David Ellender. The company, which has financial backing from private investment firm TPG Growth, is focused on producing series and limited-run programming for the U.S. and global broadcast, cable and on-demand marketplace, working closely with talent to develop its projects. “We are extremely excited to be working on a beloved property with such a talented and hard-working actor as Keanu,” said Ellender. “This series will be the launch pad for the company and highlight our talent-focused, quality-based approach within the ever-changing and expanding television space.” The series is expected to be taken out shortly, and a search is under way for a writer to pen the script.
Rain centers on John Rain (Reeves), a half-Japanese, half-American contract assassin who specializes in taking out his targets by making it look like death by natural causes. An outsider in whatever world he’s in, Rain ironically finds that the one identity he knows – that of being a hitman – is the very thing that prevents him from bringing others closer into his life. Eisler’s series of novels featuring Rain, on which the show is based, includes A Clean Kill In Tokyo, A Lonely Resurrection, Winner Take All, Redemption Games, Extremis, The Killer Ascendant, The Detachment and Graveyard Of Memories.
“As a huge fan of Barry’s work, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring his iconic character and incredible world to life,” Reeves said. “I’m looking forward to partnering with Slingshot on my first series, and reteaming with Chad and David.” Most recently, Reeves made his directorial debut with the critically well-received Man Of Tai Chi.