A cult work if ever there is one, The Matrix depicts a dystopian future in which the reality perceived by most humans is nothing other than a virtual simulation called the “Matrix”. The very one that was created by machines endowed with intelligence in order to enslave human beings without knowing it. The goal ? Use their body’s heat and electrical activity for energy. When computer programmer Neo finds out the truth, the rebellion begins.
All stuck in the matrix
With 465 million dollars in revenue for 63 million budget, the cyberpunk film by Larry and Andy Wachowski (who has since become transgender sisters Lana and Lilly) was a real hit at the global box office. Very well received by American critics, Matrix won numerous awards including four Oscars. In addition to its entertaining aspect, critics agree in praising its innovative visual effects. Indeed, no one can remain insensitive to the now famous effect. bullet time. When the progress of the characters is seen in slow motion while the camera seems to be moving at normal speed… Amazing!
Matrix is the first born of the franchise. Then will come Matrix Reloaded (2003), Matrix Revolutions (2003) and Matrix Resurrections, scheduled for release in December 2021. Thanks to Thomas Anderson alias Neo, beautifully played by Keanu Reeves in the whole of the saga, we have all learned the lesson… In life, we must either take the famous “red pill”, inducing the willingness to learn a potentially disturbing truth or who can change life, or we opt for the “blue pill”, thus remaining in a satisfactory ignorance.
An unattractive pitch
Will Smith decided to remain in total ignorance by refusing the role of Neo. Indeed, the actor was no more eager to be office worker by day hacker at night. So that everyone stops going there on their own assumption, the actor on February 13, 2019 decided to lift the veil on the reasons for his refusal. And it is on his YouTube channel, where he is followed by more than 4.5 million people, that he spoke. On the one hand, Will Smith had not confident in the abilities of Wachowski :
I’m not proud of it… They came and they only had one movie under their belt, I think it was Bound. They pitched Matrix. They eventually turned out to be geniuses. But there is a very fine line between the genius and what I felt during this interview.
On the other hand, these two brothers who wore their caps upside down gave him a very nebulous pitch from the character of Neo :
Imagine that you are in a fight and you start to jump. Imagine stopping in the middle of the jump. After that, people could see 360 ° all around you during your jump, but also during your suspension. And then we’ll invent these cameras so people can see the whole jump including when you stop in the middle.
Discover below the hilarious video in which the actor confides on his feelings towards Matrix :
The context of the time
An inconclusive pitch in summary, which pushed Will Smith to join the seventh art version of Mysteries of the West. Remember… The actor had just acquired his notoriety thanks to Bad boys (1995), Independence Day (1996) or again Men in Black (1997). Propelled to Hollywood, he had been offered Wild wild west (1999) just as the Wachowskis approached him for the role of Neo.
An opportunity that he declined and then bitterly regret it, especially having refused such a role in favor of the bitter failure signed Barry Sonnenfeld (do not hesitate to re-read our article on this subject). It is also during a preview of the film Gemini man (2019) that a Fox reporter asked 51-year-old Will Smith what advice he’d like to give a 23-year-old version of him. This is what he replied:
I would come back to the set of Wild wild west and I would say to him: asshole, why didn’t you do Matrix ?