4 minutes ago 0 Shares Will Smith Explains He Was The First Pick For Neo In The Matrix And Why He Turned It Down Thu Feb 14 2019 05:07:22 GMT+0000 (GMT) Thu Feb 14 2019 05:08:16 GMT+0000 (GMT) Stewart Perrie Stewart Perrie in Entertainment Powered by It's hard to imagine The Matrix without Keanu Reeves.…
It’s hard to imagineThe Matrixwithout Keanu Reeves. While it certainly wasn’t his breakout role, having doneSpeedandPoint Breakbefore, it was certainly one that catapulted him into the stratosphere.
But what if I were to tell you that Keanu was not the first pick for the role and movie bosses actually wanted, wait for it, Will Smith.
I know, I know, but theFresh Princeactor recently revealed that he had to turn it down because the plot and pitch went way above his head.
In a video on his YouTube channel, he said: “If I had done it because I’m black, then Morpheus wouldn’t have been black cause they were looking at Val Kilmer.
“So, I probably would have messedThe Matrixup. I would’ve ruined it. I did y’all a favour.”
Smith explains that whenMatrixwriters and directors The Wachowskis came to him in the late 90s, he was a star on the rise. He had already doneBad Boys,Independence DayandMen in Blackand wanted to be more diverse.
How do you reckon Will Smith would have done as Neo? Credit: Will Smith/YouTube
He added that he actually nearly declinedMIBas well because he didn’t want to be just the ‘alien movie guy’, but Steven Spielberg convinced him.
Fast forward to the meeting with The Wachowskis and Smith was understandably boggled about what they wanted to do.
He recalled them describing one of the scenes where Neo jumps through the air and cameras capture a 360-degree shot of his movements. Back in the late 90s, that type of thing was way ahead of its time.
The actor simply had to hit pass on the movie, which turned into a trilogy that brought in $1.6 billion at the global box office.
He told theSunduring an interview in 2005 that the plot was also hard to wrap his head around. To be fair, if you were just reading the script alone it would be tough to picture it on the big screen.
Smith said: “I didn’t get it when I read it. It’s a hard movie to pitch. You know: ‘Everybody lives inside a computer.’ It was only when I saw it that I really got it.”
We’re the same Will. Maybe some of us needed a few screenings to get it.
He admits that instead of doingThe Matrixhe ended up doingWild Wild West, which he regrets.
One person onRedditmade a very interesting point, if Keanu hadn’t taken on the role, there’s a massive chance that he wouldn’t have got the role forJohn Wick, which we all know is badass.
Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.