Whereas Matrix Resurrections settles in cinemas from this Wednesday, December 22, diving behind the scenes of the cult saga through the story of the character of Neo. If Keanu Reeves has been playing this role since 1999, it was initially offered to various actors, including Will Smith.
Eighteen years after its conclusion, Matrix is back on screens. In the dark rooms, spectators can find from this Wednesday December 22, the actors of the first hour. If Laurence Fishburne aka Morpheus has been replaced by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen), Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Lambert Wilson resumed their old roles. A now irreplaceable cast which was originally thought very differently. Before Keanu Reeves is confirmed for the role of Neo in the first opus of the saga Matrix (1999), a large number of famous actors were approached to embody this character.
From Brad Pitt at Ewan McGregor by way of Will Smith, many are those who refused to lend their features to the sci-fi hero. Not understanding the scenario and preferring to join the cast of Wild Wild West, the actor of Men in Black had declined the offer. A choice that he quickly regretted, because if Matrix was a critical and commercial success, Barry Sonnenfeld’s western comedy made a real box office flop. In 2019, to the question: “Which movie set would you like to return to and what would you say to the Will Smith of the day?” asked by Fox Chicago and relayed by Entertainment Weekly, the actor replied: “I would go back to Wild Wild West. And I’d be like, ‘Dumbass, why didn’t you do the Matrix?’”. Long after the release of the Wachowski sisters’ feature film, Will Smith had also confided “that he would have delivered a performance much lower than that of Keanu Reeves“, as detailed Allocine.
These actors who turned down a role in the Matrix
Will Smith isn’t the only one who refused to join the cast of Matrix at the beginnings of the saga. The role of Agent Smith worn by Hugo Weaving was originally offered to Jean Reno, who declined the offer to focus on the shooting of Godzilla. As for the character of Morpheus, Russell Crowe was at the top of the list, “But, again, the actor found the scenario too complicated and uninteresting in his eyes ”, report Allocine. Finally, if for a long time, legend has it that Sean Connery refused to lend his features to Morpheus, he actually refused the role of the architect, finally worn by Helmut Bakaitis, as revealed Slashfilm last August.
Photo credits: AGENCE / BESTIMAGE
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Did you know ? Will Smith turned down a role in The Matrix – Gala