Keanu Reeves is known best for his movies, especially his ongoing John Wick series, but more recently, he’s getting some attention for appearances in video games. His on-screen character was officially added to Fortnite as a new skin during part of a limited-time event, though many players would attest that he was in the game before that thanks to a skin that closely resembled the character. It’s those appearances in Fortnite which some of his newer, younger fans now know him for, and that led to kids and other players referring to him as “Fortnite Guy” when meeting him.
News of this technically accurate label for the actor comes not from Reeves himself, but rather from Donald Mustard, the creative director for Epic Games. During an on-stage chat as part of the E3 Coliseum events, Mustard talked about how the studio was able to officially bring John Wick into the game. In doing so, he talked about the Reaper skin, a cosmetic which was added several seasons ago and looked a lot like John Wick. With dark hair slicked down and facial hair combined with a stern demeanor and a suit, the Reaper skin was dubbed a John Wick clone whether that was the intended effect or not.
Mustard said that the team didn’t set out to make a John Wick skin during that time and that it was instead supposed to be a take on the “Man in Black” type. The community had already decided that this was their version of John Wick though, and that connection found its way into Reeves’ life as well. Mustard said that younger Fortnite players would see Reeves and refer to him in person not as his numerous roles from series like the Matrix or John Wick, but instead as “Fortnite Guy.”
“He was starting to have all these kids come up to him, all these teenagers, on the street,” Mustard said. “They weren’t doing the normal ‘Oh, you’re Neo,’ or ‘Oh, you’re Wick.’ They were like, ‘Fortnite Guy!’”
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Mustard continued to say that Reeves would ask what this whole deal with Fortnite was, and upon seeing the skin, said that it didn’t look anything like him. The connection with Reeves went from there as Mustard said it “felt inevitable” and “made a lot of sense” to collaborate with the result being the new skin and in-game event.