Neo has taken the crypto red pill. Keanu Reeves and his partner Alexandra Grant have joined in the efforts of a foundation focused on NFTs and art in the metaverse, the Futureverse Foundation.
The star of The Matrix wants you to know that he and Grant—a visual artist—are serious about NFTs. Really, he means it. The Futureverse Foundation, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is a new charitable organization that will help artists create and sell their work in the metaverse as NFTs, though they haven’t told us what that means. The famous pair are advising the nonprofit. The foundation is looking to increase access to the metaverse, particularly for artists from underserved backgrounds, and is relying on the fact that NFTs will be a legitimate form of art that has actual value instead of just an abstract concept that can be easily reproduced as counterfeits.
“I feel like the Futureverse Foundation is a proposal. If we do have this opportunity of building a new economy of [cultural] exchange, how do we?” Grant told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s new for all of us to be thinking about the partnerships between the art world, Hollywood and tech coming together in this really beautiful way.”
Reeves did not immediately return our request for comment on his hopes for the foundation, but we’ll update this story if he does.
But wait, Keanu Reeves definitely isn’t interested in NFTs: At least he wasn’t when he was asked about them six months ago. In an interview with The Verge in December 2021 to promote The Matrix: Resurrections, Reeves was more than skeptical about the rise of the non-fungible token. The actor was coy when initially asked about his interest in cryptocurrency, explaining that a friend bought him some crypto, but he hadn’t done anything with it. As the conversation pivoted to NFTs and digital scarcity, Reeves noted with a smirk that NFTs are “easily reproduced,” right before hunching over and letting out a high-pitched giggle. On the plus side, Reeves did say that he hoped Facebook would keep its paws off the metaverse, so I guess that’s a win, even if it seems unlikely.
I need to point out the elephant in the room. The Matrix was released in 1999 as a scathing critique of a dystopian world where people are literally harvested for their energy while plugged into a run-of-the-mill suburban digital landscape. Now here we are in 2022, having serious conversations how to profit from a digital world, conversations which now involve the star of said critique. It’s truly a deliriously full circle moment.