It was twenty years ago today that the movie Speed opened in theaters. You know the story of the runaway bus, driven by Sandra Bullock, threatened by Dennis Hopper, and saved by Keanu Reeves. But there’s a lot you don’t know about the movie. It took a lot of work to make it more than just another Die Hard.
7. Fox executives cried about Keanu Reeves’ haircut. Jan de Bont told Reeves that he needed to get a haircut that would reflect his character before shooting began . The executives at 20th Century Fox were so upset that Reeves had buzzed his hair that they threatened to postpone the start of production until his hair grew back.
10. Speed originally had a very different cast. Bullock’s biggest competitor for the role of Annie was Ellen DeGeneres. Before Bullock was cast, DeGeneres was offered the role of Annie with the promise that it would be a comedic action role. DeGeneres passed on the part in hopes of scoring a gig on the newly developed sitcom Friends, and we all know how that turned out. And the role of Jack was offered to Jeff Bridges before being passed on down to Johnny Depp and then Keanu Reeves.
Read about how they made the bus jump, how they made the train crash, and how they made the script work in a trivia list at Uproxx.