Duke Caboom is Canada's greatest stuntman and Keanu Reeves provides his voice in the upcoming Toy Story 4. Reeves is pretty excited about his role in the sequel and as it turns out, he helped to shape the character's personality in a very big way. The John Wick actor felt that he needed to go further with Duke Caboom to keep the lane open for Tim Allen and Tom Hanks' major characters while bringing something genuine to the table.
Tim Allen was the first to reveal that Keanu Reeves had a role in Toy Story 4, though he did not go into any further details. Since then, we've learned more about Duke Caboom and his origins, thanks to Reeves. When it comes down to it, Caboom made the actor think about a lot of what goes into being Canada's greatest stuntman. He explains.
"I wanted to make sure I didn't do anything that would go into Tim Allen's space as Buzz Lightyear. That was one thing I was really paying attention to when I was thinking about the character and how he would talk. So I made Duke a little more gravelly but still tried to give him energy and a big personality... I just thought that Duke should love what he does. He's the greatest stuntman in Canada! I wanted him to be constantly doing poses on the bike while he was talking, to have this great extroverted passion."
During his first meeting with Pixar, Keanu Reeves jumped up on the table during his pitch to get his point across. His enthusiasm impressed everybody, especially Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley, who says that Reeves brought something out of Duke Caboom that they hadn't yet thought of. From there, it was fast moving. But, Caboom isn't just an action hero, there's a lot going on under the surface. Reeves had this to say.
"Every kid has their toy, and Duke let his kid down when he couldn't do what the commercial said he could. So he's a wounded person! He's needing to have some, I don't know, catharsis. Some feeling. I wanted him to have a real sensitivity and a soft heart... I also saw him as a character that has a really wide dramatic bandwidth in the sense of being so big. 'Kaboom! Kapow! Let's go!' But who can also then share his wounds, like, 'You have a kid? I had a kid. I let him down!' And he can get quiet. So it was really a lot to play with on the playground."
While Duke Caboom feels that he let his kid down, it looks like Toy Story 4 is going to give him some redemption. Keanu Reeves says, "Duke becomes an important part of trying to save Woody and Bo's mission," and from there, he has to take his skills and push them to the limit. In other words, it's the perfect role for Reeves, who is used to digging deep and figuring out what makes a character tick.
Toy Story 4 opens in theaters on June 21st, so hopefully we'll get a better look at what Duke Caboom can do before the long-awaited sequel hits theaters. So far, we've only seen his trademark mustache, white suit, and matching motorcycle with a quick clip of him saying, "Kaboom!" Thanks to Keanu Reeves, we know that there's a lot more to Duke Caboom than some heroics. The interview with Reeves was originally conducted by Entertainment Weekly.