Inside Move: ‘Watcher’ dogs Reeves

Sources say thesp agreed to work as favor to helmer

Poor Keanu. So many seven figure deals, who can keep track of them all?

Apparently, not even Reeves, nor his reps.

Recently promoting “Hardball” at the Toronto Film Festival, Reeves was quoted in the Calgary Sun claiming that his signature on an agreement to appear in last year’s “The Watcher” was forged by “a friend,” thus accounting for the A-lister’s unlikely appearance as a prancing psychopath in the $25 million schlock shocker.

But sources close to the pic say that Reeves did agree to work, for scale no less, as a favor to “Watcher” helmer and personal pal Joe Charbanic, who’d been a roadie for Reeves’ rock band Dogstar.

At the time, Charbanic, who also had directed a musicvid for the group, was putting together his feature directorial debut, the low-budget road pic “Macon.”

But “Macon” was scrapped and Charbanic and foreign-sales powered production outfit Interlight decided instead to make “The Watcher.” Reeves, as he told the press in Toronto, “never found that script interesting” and tried to back out, but couldn’t.

With a reluctant Reeves toplining under threat of lawsuits, “The Watcher” was later acquired and distribbed by Universal, which was forced to mount a promo campaign without use of Reeves’ image or interview support.

Reeves ultimately received an additional $2 million for his 11 days of work on the pic. Reeves’ reps at CAA and PMK have both declined comment, as have Charbanic and Interlight.

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