The Matrix franchise as a whole is still considered a highly respected sci-fi franchise that changed both the genre and the world of film. With a fourth film on the way, let’s take a look back at the original trilogy.
The Matrix Reloaded is usually regarded as a worse sequel to the original; its highway pursuit is not only a trilogy highlight but also one of the most stunning action set pieces ever committed to film.
One of the greatest sci-fi/action blockbusters of all time, The Matrix, was first released in 1999. The first movie was such a critical and commercial success that it spawned two sequels (released six months apart, curiously enough) and rounded out the Wichowskis’ career as directors and Keanu Reeves’ reputation as an action hero.
It’s an ideal opportunity to go head to head against the machines and look at the four facts about the Matrix set of three you had no clue existed previously. These facts will stun you, and maybe change your impression of the movies generally speaking.
Let’s dive right into the facts:
1. Will Smith Turned Down The Role Of Neo
Will Smith was given the part of Neo in The Matrix, but he turned it down in order to appear in Wild Wild West. While The Matrix was a far larger blockbuster than Wild Wild West, Smith stated that the latter was simpler to comprehend during the pitch stage.
Johnny Depp was the Wachowskis’ initial choice for the role of Neo, but the studio chose Val Kilmer or Brad Pitt. Before Keanu Reeves was cast, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ewan McGregor, and David Duchovny all turned down the job.
It has been reported that Brad Pitt notoriously declined the main role, claiming he, “wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be.” Adding, “Keanu was smart enough.”
2. Keanu, Carrie-Anne, And Lily Having Fun
A director’s connection with their actors is one of, if not the most, crucial aspects of successful production and film. The Wichowskis were aware of this, as demonstrated by Lily and her two actors joking about and smiling to relieve the stress of the serious set.
Moss had this to say about the directorial pair to IGN, “They inspired that. They inspired that from everyone from the crew to the cast because that’s the kind of people they are. They are very special.”
Because the Wichowskis are notoriously hesitant to speak with the media, Moss noted, “I’m very protective of them. You will never get a chance to know them because they don’t do this part of the work. I gave everything to them to make this film because I wanted to.”
3. Blind Keanu Reeves’ Make-Up Made Him Blind
It’s nothing unusual to play a blind character. In Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino received an Oscar for his performance as a blind veteran. Playing a blind man in an action film is one thing; really having something obscure your eyesight is quite another.
After being blinded by Agent Smith’s real-world possession with a live wire, Neo was bound to fulfill the prophecy blindfolded.
Fortunately, much of the battle choreography was completed prior to Neo’s injury, although going for extended lengths without vision must have been difficult.
4. Sizable Pay Cut By Reeves
To assure the continued high quality of those effects and the cooperation of the crew behind them, Reeves forewent “points” that would typically pay an actor handsomely after the film’s release.
According to The Wall Street Journal, his contract for The Matrix’s two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions waived a portion of his rights to a share of the revenues from these films in order to free up additional funds for the special effects and costuming departments. This generous gesture, while not an explicit monetary donation, made a large sum of money accessible to subsequent productions in the famous franchise.
According to an executive who talked with The Wall Street Journal, “He felt that they were the ones who made the movie and that they should participate.” The money re-invested in the productions, enabling excellent staff and high-level creative success. Though Reeves’ income was still substantial, the compensation he forewent was in the millions.
When the same circumstance happened during the production of the sports comedy The Replacements in 2000, Reeves once again took a significant salary cut in order to work with actor Gene Hackman. Later, he told the New York Post about the idea, stating, “I got to have some really great acting experiences this past year, like working with Mr. Hackman.”
In both situations, he sacrificed a substantial amount of his income so that other performers might join the cast. In an interview with Hello magazine, he justified his kindness, stating, “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.”
New Release Matrix 4
It was initially reported that the film would debut on May 21, 2021. Obviously, like many other titles, this date had to be dropped as a result of the COVID-19 closure. It was then rescheduled for release on April 1, 2022.
Then, at that point in October 2020, the film’s release date was moved to December 2021, which presently is — by all accounts — the affirmed date. So, with any karma, The Matrix 4 will have its dramatic premiere with perfect timing for Christmas, on December 22, 2021. Fans can watch the film on HBO Max, where it will be accessible to stream for one month beginning on December 22nd.