The Matrix’s Keanu Reeves Thanks Will Smith for Turning Down the Role of Neo

Keanu Reeves is happy that Will Smith turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix, saying the role changed both his career and his life.

Keanu Reeves appreciates Will Smith turned down Neo’s role in Matrix.

While promoting his fourth outing as Neo in The Matrix Resurrections, Reeves spoke with Don about his career and the unique circumstances that led him to where he is today. During the course of the conversation, Reeves was asked how he felt about Will Smith rejecting leadership in Matrix before it was offered to him. Naturally, Reeves was thankful to be able to be in the movie, which he said changed his life. “It was such a wonderful creative experience and therefore playing Neo in the trilogy and now in the fourth, it impacted my life personally and creatively,” he said. The actor then looked at the camera, apparently to address Smith himself, saying, “Thank you very much.”


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In 1998, the Wachowski brothers released a famous Matrix to Smith. At the time, Smith was one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood, with smash hits like Men in black, Independence Day and Bad boys under his belt. However, when it came time to hear Wachowski’s idea, the actor was disappointed and abandoned the project, opting instead to do Wild wild west. As fate would like, Matrix was one of the most important films of 1999, and Wild wild west It came out to mixed reviews, and Smith considers it one of the worst films in its history. With Smith gone, Neo’s part went to Reeves, elevating his career and setting him up for future hits like the John wick franchise.

RELATED: The Matrix Resurrections Isn’t A Sequel, Says Co-writer: ‘It’s A Strange, Beautiful Creation’

Smith isn’t the only actor who has passed up the opportunity to be in Wachowski’s hit movie. It was recently revealed that Madonna turned down a role in Matrix, as well as roles in both Batman Returns and Choristers. “It’s like one of the best movies ever made,” he said. “A small part of me regrets that one moment in my life.”

Anticipation is high for the first installment of Matrix series in those over 18 years of age. Directed by Lana Wachowski, The Matrix Resurrections is set to hit theaters on December 18 and stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henrick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Jada Pinkett Smith.

READ ON: The Matrix 5 could happen, if Lana Wachowski is on board

Source: Don

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