The Matrix is regarded as one of the most iconic movies released in the past 20 years. The movie was released in 1999 grossing $460 million around the world and winning four Academy Awards. After its release, it spawned two other sequels (The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions) as well as comic books, animated short films and video games. Here are cool facts about the Matrix for the fans:
- Nicholas Cage and Will Smith turned down Neo’s role
The filmmakers had considered a number of Hollywood stars to act as Neo before finally settling on Keanu Reeves. Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp and Will Smith had all be considered for the role. After The Matrix was released, Will Smith admitted that he turned down the role because he did not understand Matrix script. Instead of featuring in The Matrix, Will Smith starred in Wild Wild West.
- Lead actors had to learn more about philosophy before producing the movie
To enable the actors to understand about the world of the movie, Wachowskis asked the actors to read the following books: Dylan Evan’s Introducing Evolutionary Psychology, Out of Control by Kevin Kelly and Jean Baudrillard’s Oscar Zarate and Simulacra and Simulation. In fact, if you are keen when watching the movie, you will notice that Neo hid his illegal computer files in Jean Baudrillard’s book.
- Yuen Woo Ping created the elaborate stunt works and wirework in The Matrix
After Yuen Ping’s Fist of Legend Martial Art film in 1994, Wachowskis got interested in working with him. Therefore, to produce The Matrix, Wachowskis specifically enlisted Yuen Ping as the choreographer. Yuen did not want to work on The Matrix film, therefore, he asked for a high fee to dissuade the Wachowskis. Since they wanted to work with him, they agreed and he further demanded to have complete control of all the fights in the movie to dissuade them further. Amazingly, they agreed and Yuen ended up creating some of the most memorable fight scenes in the movie.
- Lead actors had to train every day for 4 months to effectively pull off the fighting scenes
It was the wish of the Wachowskis that real actors be the ones fighting on the screen and not the stunt people. To achieve this, the actors trained each day for a period of 4 months before production of the movie. This was one of Yuen Ping’s idea to train with the leading actors to ensure they will be able to pull off the fighting scenes effectively.
- The Filmmakers color coded the movie
During production, filmmakers used color to distinguish between the Matrix from the real world. The Matrix was tinted green while scenes from the real world were given a blue tint. Having taken place in neither, the training fight between Morpheus and Neo was tainted yellow.
For a movie production to be successful, it takes a lot of time, energy, resources and dedication. The Matrix is one of the greatest films to be produced over the years and it has lived up to expectations.