10 surprising things you didn’t know about ‘The Matrix’

‘The Matrix’ was released in 1999. Warner Bros.
  • “The Matrix” is a popular sci-fi action film that debuted in 1999.
  • The film won critical acclaim and awards for its special effects and choreographed fight scenes.
  • The idea for the film was originally conceived as a comic book.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Directed by the Lana and Lilly Wachowski, 1999’s “The Matrix,” stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Laurence Fishburne, and it is loaded with action twists and sci-fi plots.

The film was a box-office success and its popularity paved the way for two sequels, “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions.” And now, a fourth instalment is on the way, per Variety. The next “Matrix” movie is set to feature both Reeves and Moss reprising their respective roles.

In honour of the film’s 21-year anniversary, here are some things you might not have known about “The Matrix.”

The idea for the film was initially conceived as a comic book.

Artists drew a comic, too. Warner Bros.

Before becoming a major action film, the idea for “The Matrix” started out as a list of ideas for a comic book.

According to a 1999 interview in the New York Times, the Wachowskis even hired two artist friends, who had experience working on cartoons like “Spider-Man” and “Hard-Boiled,” to create a 600-page comic of their script for “The Matrix.”

Many of the costumes in the movie are made from cheap fabric.

The budget was tight. Warner Bros.

Kym Barrett, the costume designer credited with creating the sleek clothing in “The Matrix,” said that even though the outfits look expensive, they were made on a tight budget.

In a 2018 interview with Glamour, Barrett said Trinity’s leather-looking bodysuit is actually made from a low-cost, stretchy vinyl.

Barrett also said the material used for Neo’s trench coat was an inexpensive, synthetic fabric that was printed to look like wool.

The sunglasses were custom-made for the cast.

The sunglasses were custom-made. Warner Brothers

The trendy, sleek sunglasses worn by the cast of “The Matrix” were actually specially created for the sci-fi film.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the sunglasses were originally designed by Blinde Design Project’s Richard Walker. The now-iconic shades were custom-made for each character in the film.

Will Smith said he turned down the role of Neo.

Will Smith starred in another sci-fi film instead. Lee Jin-man/AP

In a 2019 video on his YouTube channel, actor Will Smith said he turned down the role of Neo, which eventually went to Keanu Reeves.

Smith said instead of starring in “The Matrix,” he worked on the 1999 box-office bust, “Wild Wild West,” a decision he said he is “not proud of” even though he said he thinks it all worked out because Reeves was perfect for the role.

Jada Pinkett-Smith said she originally auditioned for the role of Trinity but had no chemistry with Reeves.

Jada Pinkett-Smith appeared in other ‘Matrix’ movies as someone else. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

In a 2016 interview for “The Howard Stern Show,” Jada Pinkett-Smith said that she initially auditioned to play Trinity, Neo’s love interest in the film.

But Pinkett-Smith said in the interview that she and Reeves had no chemistry even though they would later become friends. The Wachowskis gave the role of Trinity to Carrie-Anne Moss instead.

Later, Pinkett-Smith would play the character Niobe in two “Matrix” movies.

The film has won multiple Academy Awards.

Critics love it, too. Warner Bros.

“The Matrix” enjoyed a warm reception by the industry’s critics for its stunning effects and well-choreographed fight scenes.

At the 2000 Academy Awards, the film received Oscars for film editing, sound, sound-effects editing, and visual effects,winning in every category it was considered in that year.

The movie took 118 days to film.

It was supposed to take around 90 days to film. Warner Bros.

The film was scheduled to take 90 days to film but it ended up taking 118 days, per a behind-the-scenes interview with members of the crew.

There is a reason Neo barely kicks in the fight scenes — Keanu Reeves was recovering from a surgery.

Neo’s fight scenes don’t involve a lot of kicking. Warner Brothers

Just before the martial-arts training period for the film, Reeves underwent neck surgery and had to wear a neck brace.

The actor told Rolling Stone in 2000 that during his recovery period it was difficult for him to kick while he was playing Neo.

The characters in the code at the beginning of the film were scanned from cookbooks.

This ‘code’ was once a recipe. Warner Brothers

The group of green characters that appear on the screen in the opening sequence of the film is meant to look like computer code, but it is actually nonsense.

In a 2017 interview with CNET, Simon Whiteley, the visual-effects supervisor for the movie, said that the mysterious code is actually a combination of reversed characters and numbers that he scanned from his wife’s Japanese cookbooks.

“The Matrix” was filmed in Australia in order to keep production costs low.

The film still cost millions to make. Warner Bros.

In an effort to keep production costs down, “The Matrix” was filmed in Australia for a budget of $US60 million, per Vulture.

According to the New York Times, “Warner Brothers executives said it would have cost close to $US95 million if it had been made in the United States instead.”

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