There are times when mistakes can be made, and other times when those mistakes are entirely intentional knowing the kind of response that will come on the back of it. One such occurrence seemed to happen this morning, when Marvel UK joined thousands of fans in wishing a certain Keanu Reeves a happy 57th birthday. That may not seem like a big deal, but what made it a little more conspicuous was that the post subsequently appeared to be deleted when fans began speculating on why Marvel would be specifically pulling out birthday wishes for someone that has - to date - had no connection to their movies, but has been wildly rumored to be heading their way in one of their upcoming offerings.
The post, which was more than just a simple "happy birthday" tweet, quickly had many questioning whether there is something afoot between the studio and the Matrix star. So far fan theories have had Reeves being eyed up for roles as Namor, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and many more characters that are still to make their MCU debuts, with the likes of the X-Men heading down the line in the next few years, there is no doubt that if there was ever a time for Reeves to join the Marvel Universe, it is clearly now.
As any Marvel fan will know, it takes very little to cause some kind of meltdown among the MCU faithful, who keep their eyes peeled for the merest hint that some of their dream castings could be coming to fruition, and the magical appearing and disappearing birthday message is certainly something that would attract the finely tuned senses of Twitter watchers. Here are a couple of the posts that pointed out the apparent Marvel error of judgment...or purposeful fire-poke, depending on your opinion.
Marvel tapping up Keanu Reeves is something that has been an on-going rumor for a long while now, and it is one that even Marvel boss Kevin Feige couldn't completely shoot down when he spoke to ComicBook.com earlier this year about how the studio goes about casting roles and the subject of Reeves came up. "We talk to him for almost every film we make," Feige laughed. "We talk to Keanu Reeves about. I don't know when, if, or ever he'll join the MCU, but we very much want to figure out the right way to do it."
Rather than being any kind of denial, the comments were instantly jumped on as not so much an "if" but a "when" we will see Reeves taking on some kind of role in the MCU, if he can fit it around his already bulging slate of movies. While he has been linked in the past to the role of Johnny Blaze in a Ghost Rider reboot, or as one of the X-Men, there is also the Fantastic Four reboot to consider, as there has been no word yet on any of the casting for that movie, which is slated to arrive in a few years from now.
If it was the intention of Marvel to give themselves just a little more attention in the run up to Shang-Chi's cinematic debut, then they have managed to achieve that with almost effortless ease. If this means anything more than Keanu Reeves having a good birthday, then we are just going to have to bide out time to find out what that could be.