Announced last week, Keanu Reeves is teaming with Boom! and Matt Kindt to do BRZRKR. Kindt was asked about it at the Boom! Studios Discover Yours panel for Comic-Con@Home and had a lot to say about working with Keanu Reeves, his own ideas coming into BRZRKR, and what it is like to have Keanu Reeves read and act out your dialogue for him as a writer.
When asked about the upcoming BRZRKR Matt Kindt said, "I don't know how much behind-the-scenes we want to get or whatever but I remember [Boom] called me, and you're like 'hey we have this opportunity, maybe a thing,' and I was like 'what is it' and you're like 'got an idea for a book' and I was like 'okay, what is it' and I honestly approached it like I would any collaboration because collaborations it just cracks you. It can be bad, so I was apprehensive going in, especially if I don't know the person, and it's like I was a little worried going in, but I was like I'll take the meetings let's see."
Kindt was "pitched this idea … of like this kind of a mortal warrior, and it spans at the beginning of time until modern-day and then there's more to it." The plot "just spun out and … [it was backed] up with all the science and like this quantum physics and all these things that I just started writing it down. I don't know what that is; I don't know what that means, I'm gonna look that up."
Kindt had his own ideas that he ended up bringing into the collaboration with Reeves for BRZRKR. "It was actually super interesting, it was like an exciting idea, and it was one of those things where I like probably for the last 15 years I've been kicking around an idea of like a character that can't really die or this idea of like living through all these eras and like what that does to you psychologically you know if you can't die. Then if you see the same things over and over and over again like how do you [handle it?] What does that do to a person? That was a theme, but I could never quite get it right; I had different ideas; sometimes, it was a vampire or something else, and it was just always kind of dumb. I was like, 'oh yeah yeah,' this is like there's so much stuff already that I could bring to it I felt that I was like it just seemed like a good fit."
Speaking of Keanu Reeves, Kindt said, "he's been a good collaborator. You know like we think we're tired and weary of the state of the world and how things seem to repeat themselves." Think though how tired "a character who's been through it over and over and over again. Imagine how weary they would be." Reeves "has been so involved. I think that was my other thing going in I was like I don't want to do a thing where we just put his name on it and then" that's it. "I've seen projects like that, so I was like I don't want to do that because I've been doing comics for over 20 years, and I love comic books. If I'm gonna do it, I want to do something that's a good comic book. From the very beginning that first meeting, I was like, 'if it's not gonna be that I'm just gonna quit.'" But "we're both invested in everything I just don't want to do it like I don't know be the one that's just like doing all the work and then it's just something else bigger than me."
Reeves has "been so involved like from every step of the way like we played out the whole thing and I think when I [went to] the first couple meetings I was … we need a lot of issues like at [least] twelve issues. He was on board with that, 'Yeah, the more space, the better' and so we just blew it up into this big thing. And then working on the outline and we kicked it back and forth and then and just hammering out every little detail about the character and what eras we're gonna do and like what what's in each issue. And what's funny is like he had so many like smart ideas about the science and how it's gonna work and a lot of the little twists.
"The other thing he brought to it was just like the visual storytelling, which was great for me as a writer because I think that's the one thing if with writers a lot of times. If you're just a writer, you're not thinking about how it's gonna appear, how the comic book works, or how the motion works of the action."
Keanu Reeves "definitely thinks visually. We would go through [and] draft the outline together, and I would type it up, and then I go through, then I take a first pass with dialogue and scenes, and then we would go line by line through that. He would act it out and then read all the lines. It was like kind of a nightmare as a writer if you're writing dialogue and somebody reads it out loud, you hate it, but it's a great test [to have Keanu do it]. It was a great stress test for the dialogue because he would act out the scenes and then be reading the dialogue. I was like, oh. There's one line in particular, as soon as he did it I was just doesn't work and so we go back to it. You know it's been great because he's been so hands-on, but like in the best way and then I feel like we were definitely a 50/50 collaboration, where we're both working together and telling the story. He's bringing something to it that I didn't have, and I'm bringing something to it that he didn't have in there. It's just really cool."
BRZRKR #1 (out of at least 12 issues), with cover art by Mark Brooks, will be out October 7th and the whole panel including news of the new Ember in the Ashes graphic novel can be found here: