Toy Story 4 is directed by long time Pixar storyboard artist and writer Josh Cooley. It brings back long time favorites like Woody and Buzz, but also introduces new characters like Duke Caboom. Duke is a toy based on Canada’s greatest stuntman, a maple leaf emblazoned, motorcycle riding homage to real life daredevil Evel Knievel.  He is voiced by action star Keanu Reeves, who’s recent John Wick movies have revitalized the action genre.

Toy Story 4 | Bo Peep introduces Woody to Duke Caboom


At a Toy Story 4 press event, Cooley explained how Reeves was chosen to play Duke Caboom. “We created Duke Caboom and then– we always create the character first and then we see what’s the right actor to portray this, that can do this. And we went after Canadian actors and he was the first one on our list and I’m so thrilled that he said yes.”


Cooley continued, “He came here first just to meet with us before even signing. And we were down in the atrium and he’s like, ‘What do you think he sounds like?’ [LAUGHTER] And I’m like, ‘Uh-huh.’ But he completely won me over. To the point where, we were talking about the character and just getting deeper, and he’s like, ‘What do you think drives him?’ And so, at one point, he just got up on the table, like imagine just sitting down there eating lunch in front of everybody and he gets up and he goes, ‘Huh! Ho! Huh!’ And he’s like doing poses and stuff.  I was like, ‘This is, this is it. This is incredible.’”


“And every time we recorded with him, he just had the biggest smile on his face, and it was just so much fun. I can’t speak enough about how awesome he is.” Toy Story 4 producer Jonas Rivera added, “He’s everything you’d hoped Keanu Reeves would be [LAUGHTER]. He really is. We love him so much.” Toy Story 4 producer Mark Nielsen said, “And we didn’t know, when we brought him here, that he owned his own motorcycle company. His connection to motorcycles was not clear to us until we sat with him and we’re like, ‘Whoa.’” Rivera added, “Remember, we even said, ‘Maybe we should do the Kaboom cycle like one of yours.’ And [he was] like, ‘No, no. The Caboom cycle is perfect.’ Or something like that.  He protected the Kaboom cycle that we had. He’s great.”


Before he moved on to another topic Cooley quickly mentioned, “Real quick. He said like, ‘I’m filming a John Wick 3.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, how’s that going?’ He goes, ‘I got to kill a guy with a book.’ ‘Great.’ [LAUGHTER]”