‘Speed’ Drove Into Theaters 30 Years Ago: Where Is The Cast Now?

SPEED, Keanu Reeves, 1994.
© 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

If you were around in the 1990s, then you almost definitely witnessed the hit thriller about a bus rigged to explode if it drives any slower than 50 mph. It was not only a huge blockbuster, it launched the career of a then-unknown actress named Sandra Bullock.

Keanu Reeves, who plays an LAPD SWAT officer attempting to thwart the automotive disaster, was already on the rise after starring in hits like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Pointe Break and My Own Private Idaho, but Speed was perhaps his most popular film to date upon its release in 1994.

Now that the film is turning 30 years old, we thought it would be fun to see what the actors have been up to since!

Keanu Reeves (59)

Keanu Reeves, Speed then and now

20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy: Everett Collection; Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images

Obviously, Reeves has seen no shortage of acting roles since Speed. When he is not busy making another John Wick thriller (the fourth just came out last year) or a Matrix sequel (the fourth came out in 2021), or even a Bill & Ted sequel, such as the one from 2020, he is also voicing Batman on DC League of Super-Pets or Johnny Silverhand in the Cyberpunk 2077 video game series. Reeves even dipped into series television in 2016, playing a recurring character named Tex on the American-Swedish comedy Swedish Dicks. He’s got tons of movies currently in post-production, including yet another sequel, this time to the 2005 supernatural thriller Constantine. He also plays bass in a band called Dogstar and has been dating German artist Alexandra Grant since 2019.

Sandra Bullock (59)

Sandra Bullock, Speed, then and now

20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy: Everett Collection; Natasha Campos/Getty Images for CAA

Oscar winner Sandra Bullock has been in countless films since playing bus passenger and romantic interest Annie Porter. Most recently, she starred in a 2022 action drama alongside Brad Pitt called Bullet Train, and the action comedy The Lost City opposite Channing Tatum. In 2018, she starred in the hit Netflix thriller Bird Box, and the all-female version of Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Eight. Other notable films include: Gravity, The Blind Side (for which she won the Oscar), and romantic comedies The Proposal and Miss Congeniality. It would be impossible to list all the films on this successful A-list actress’s resume, so we won’t even try! She is rumored to be in talks to return for a sequel to the 1998 classic Practical Magic, helmed by original director Akiva Goldsman, who is the mastermind behind A Beautiful Mind and the recent, uber-compelling Apple TV+ series The Crowded Room.The divorced single mother of two adopted children is fiercely protective of her private life.

Jeff Daniels (69)

Jeff Daniels Speed then and now

20th Century Fox Film Corp/ Everett Collection; Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

Many people have probably forgotten, because of  the ensuing success of Dumb and Dumber, released later that year, that the Los Angeles detective who worked alongside Keanu Reeves’ Jack in Speed was played by Jeff Daniels (coincidentally, Daniels’ characters in both films were named Harry). The movie was such a hit that Daniels would be known for his Dumb and Dumber character for decades, probably until the 2010s, when he dropped the goofy grin and starred as the main character in the drama series The Newsroom. Since then, he’s done a lot of movies (among them, the great Looper and the Oscar-nominated The Martian) and series television, including Godless, The Looming Tower, American Rust and, most recently, the 2024 Netflix series Man in Full. He has been married to his wife Kathleen since 1979 and has 3 children.

Dennis Hopper (d. 2010)

SPEED, Dennis Hopper, 1994.

20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy Everett Collection

The psychopath behind the bus bombs, Howard Payne, was played by the talented Dennis Hopper, who was often cast as a bad guy prior to his death in 2010, including playing the main antagonist for an entire season of 24. The last role he played was on the TV series Crash, which was a spinoff of the popular film Crash. In the ’90s the Easy Rider and Apocalypse Now star is probably most well known for playing pirate leader Deacon in the 1995 post-apocalyptic thriller Waterworld. He had a long successful career in Hollywood before he died in 2010 from prostate cancer.

Joe Morton (76)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 20: Joe Morton attends the 2024 Chita Rivera Awards at NYU Skirball Center on May 20, 2024 in New York City.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Police captain McMahan was portrayed by Joe Morton, who may be most recognized now for his role as Rowan Pope, Olivia Pope’s father on Scandal. But he was also a longtime series regular on the 2006-12 comedy series Eureka, and has made many other regular appearances on various shows as well, such as God Friended Me.

Graham Yost

Let’s not forget about the people behind the hits: without good writers and directors, there would be nothing but flops and forgettable films. Graham Yost wrote Speed, and has continued to write tons of great new scripts since. He wrote two episodes of the hit miniseries Band of Brothers in 2001, and then later became the mastermind behind the long-running drama series Justified, the very fun Prime Video crime drama starring Giovanni Ribisi, Sneaky Pete, and the recent Apple TV+ post-apocalyptic thriller Silo, with many other series and films in between. (He was also an executive producer on The Americans, Masters of Air, Falling Skies and Slow Horses.

Jan de Bont

The main behind the camera was director Jan de Bont, who also directed the less-successful sequel, Speed 2. That may not have been the blockbuster he was hoping for, but that’s okay: he followed that up with Twister, another huge hit that will soon be brought back to screen in a modern reboot film, Twisters. He also directed 2003’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life starring Angelina Jolie, but he’s mostly taken a backseat and worked as an executive producer in more recent years.


February 2021
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