Keanu Reeves and Gerard Butler Have Something in Common, ‘John Wick’ and ‘Greenland’ Producer Says

Keanu Reeves rose to the top of the action movie pack from his humble beginnings in Point Break and Speed to The Matrix and John Wick franchises. Gerard Butler is newer on the scene, but he’s catching up. Greenland producer Basil Iwanyk knows both Reeves and Butler, and he says they share one admirable trait.

Keanu Reeves in John Wick crouched and pointing a gun
Keanu Reeves | Summit/Lionsgate

Greenland is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s also streaming for rental. On the Blu-ray commentary, Iwanyk discusses Reeves and Butler’s merits with director Ric Roman Waugh. 

Keanu Reeves’ connection to ‘Greenland’

Greenland is a Butler vehicle. He plays a father whose family is chosen for government shelter during a devastating meteor strike. He gets separated from his wife (Morena Baccarin) and son (Roger Dale Floyd) and spends the movie trying to get back to them, as the world falls apart.

Greenland Blu-ray
Now available | Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Reeves is not in Greenland but producer Iwanyk also produced the John Wick movies. He also produced K-19: The Widowmaker and Firewall with Harrison Ford so he compares both to Butler. 

Keanu Reeves vs. Harrison Ford vs. Gerard Butler 

On the Greenland commentary, Iwanyk and Waugh watch a scene in which Butler has a fight with people riding in the back of a truck. They spill onto the roadside. That prompted Iwanyk to compare Butler to Reeves and Ford. 

Gerard Butler, Morena Baccarin and Roger Dale Floyd drive together in a car
L-R: Morena Bacarin, Roger Dale Floyd and Gerard Butler | STXFilms

“I’m lucky,” Iwanyk said. “I’ve made a couple movies with Harrison Ford, a couple movies with Keanu, now a couple with Gerry. Those there guys, those are the real deal in terms of action stars. That’s why you get the camera in close. You don’t have to cutaway to reaction shots. They understand that action is performance and physicality is performance, and they’re also tough guys. They know how to take a punch to say the least, although they’ve all paid the price physically for it.”

‘Greenland’ director Ric Roman Waugh vouches for Gerard Butler 

Waugh knew exactly what Iwanyk meant. Greenland is his second movie with Butler after Angel Has Fallen.

“I haven’t worked with Keanu but I’ve been around Harrison Ford and they’re always conscientious of the people around them,” Waugh said. “That’s Gerry too. You don’t get the knucklehead that’s endangering everyone else.”

Gerard Butler sees the disaster coming in Greenland
Gerard Butler | STXFilms

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Waugh has a lot of experience in the stunt business. He was in the stunt business with his father Fred and brother Scott before directing movies with Dwayne Johnson and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. 

We’ve been around all the big action heroes. They can’t tie their own shoelaces to be honest with you. Gerry’s the real deal. His athleticism is mindblowing to me. I’m not afraid to have him do his own stunts and fights because he really gets into the performance but he never forgets where he is in the choreography and people’s safety. Whether it’s in a vehicle or fighting, that gives me a lot of confidence to put Gerry in these kind of moments where you’re getting real drama and real emotion of a man that just killed somebody for the first time and that shock of what that would be. As we go through the movie watching that unfold, but doing the action at the same time versus having to do it with a stunt person and then only go to the reaction with Gerry, you get to play it all together.

Ric Roman Waugh, Greenland Blu-ray commentary