Last weekend, Kiwi creative Justin Townsend celebrated his new project with Hollywood megastar Keanu Reeves in Brazil.
At the CCXP Festival in São Paulo, Reeves promoted his movie John Wick: Chapter 4 at the Comic Con-style event. The following day he took to the stage with Townsend’s creative partner Rafael Grampa - a Brazilian comic book artist and film director - for a panel discussion to tease a brand-new project currently in the works.
“The packed audience at CCXP was fantastic and Keanu was as gracious as ever and a true gentleman. I can’t say much about the project details yet - except that we are building something very special with Keanu and he is a remarkable guy,” Townsend told Spy.
“We showed a short teaser film to the crowd. Rafael and I are excited to develop the project further.”
In 2019 Grampa was invited by the Matrix star - who was a fan of his creative work - to do the character design and cover art for his story BRZRKR.
“It became the biggest-selling comic book in decades and is currently being adapted by Netflix into a feature film in which Keanu will star,” says Townsend.
“After this success, we proposed to Keanu to do a brand-new story together. He was 100 per cent up for it and we announced it last weekend.”
Last year, Spy reported Townsend and Grampa’s movie premiere in Rome of Frank Miller: American Genius — a movie about the life of the famed comic-book creator of graphic novel hits Batman and 300.
Living overseas for more than a decade, Townsend was head of global production for Adidas for five years — a job which saw him work with artists including Stormzy, Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg. He also worked with footballers Lionel Messi, David Beckham and basketballer James Harden.
In 2013, he collaborated with Grampa on a short, animated film called Dark Noir, which led to their eventually becoming creative partners, working on projects with big brands such as Chanel.
He hints that the new story could be a book or a film or a form of media - it is all still to be decided.
Townsend who was home in New Zealand in October, flew back to his base in Amsterdam this week for Christmas. He will head to Los Angeles in the New Year, where they will continue work on the project and hinted to Spy, he and Grampa have even bigger news to share early next year.