Keanu Reeves' gentle world domination continues this week with the release of the first trailer for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, the first fully CGI film for the popular Nickelodeon character.
The footage teases the story of how the pineapple-dwelling sea sponge met his beloved pet snail, Gary, at Camp Coral one summer. Then in the present day, tragedy strikes when Gary goes missing -- or is "snail-napped" -- leading SpongeBob to embark on a road trip with his best buddy, Patrick Starr, to Atlantic City. Somewhere along this journey, their quest appears to become one of spiritual enlightenment, heralded by the floating, real-life head of none other than Keanu Reeves, aka Sage.
"I'm made out of sage and I am a sage," he informs the startled undersea characters. "So it works out pretty well."
The first SpongeBob movie included a similar live-action cameo, albeit a more full-bodied one, from David Hasselhoff, who turned himself into a human speedboat for SpongeBob and Patrick to use as transport, in a nod to his Baywatch days. Reeves' appearance in this latest film is just as self-reflective, playing into the actor's New Age-leaning public persona.
As we've chronicled before, 2019 has been a bumper year for cinema's chillest action star. This summer saw him complete the John Wick film trilogy that's re-cemented his status as one of the industry's best physical actors; announce his return to both Bill and Ted and The Matrix; become part of the Disney/Pixar universe, and finally get his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has both the Fast and the Furious and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises vying for his attention next. Even when we learned the sad news broke that our favorite "Internet Boyfriend" was now off the market, Reeves' "age-appropriate" choice in partner -- an alarming rarity in Hollywood -- earned him a fresh showering of praise that would probably leave him characteristically bewildered.
2019 has also been a bumper year for Keanu Reeves turning up in unexpected places, with cameos in everything from Netflix rom-coms, to animated music videos to a major video game release... followed up by a major video game convention appearance to promote said release where his response to a fan's outpouring of love for him also became pretty major online. Seeing his head pop up in the middle of a bush in a SpongeBob movie trailer is just confirmation that there's just no telling where Reeves could appear next. (Be sure to check under your bed tonight; there may well be a bearded A-Lister dispensing pearls of wisdom hiding there.)
Written and directed by Tom Hill, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run features the voices of Tom Kenny, Awkwafina, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke, Carolyn Lawrence, Douglas Lawrence and Reggie Watts. The film opens May 22, 2020.