Trivia / The Matrix

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Keanu Reeves starred in Johnny Mnemonic, as a character who could have a jack placed straight into the back of his head. It is also a film about telepresence.
    • Joe Pantoliano lying about a car accident in a movie directed by the Wachowskis ... why is that so familiar?.
  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Thrills: #66
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!
    • What if I told you Morpheus never actually says "What if I told you…"? The origin of this meme stems from a simple jab at the film's twist, which featured a photo of Morpheus simply asking "What if I told you … The Matrix is all inside a computer?" Since then, people have just taken it from there.
    • One of Agent Smith's more famous quotes is often written as "But Mr. Anderson, how can you make a phone call when you cannot speak?" or something similar. The actual line is "Tell me, Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you're unable … to speak?"
  • Development Gag: A deleted subplot from The Matrix reveals that Morpheus has previously believed five other people to be The One, all who died after attempting to fight the Agents. In The Matrix Reloaded, the Architect explains that there have been five previous versions of the Matrix before the current one, each with its own version of the One, meaning that Neo again has five predecessors.
  • Doing It for the Art: While watching the "Lady in the Red Dress" scene, you might notice the same people are passing Neo and Morpheus more than once. Production goof? Nope! All the extras in the scene are actual twins. The Wachowskis scoured Sydney for identical twins and brought them in to create the impression that Mouse got so lazy while writing the Agent Training Program that he made half the crowd, then copy-pasted the models and gave the copies new clothes, instead of making unique ones. Did you notice that... or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?
  • Dyeing for Your Art/Important Haircut: "Spoonboy's" mum was very reluctant to have his beautiful locks shaved off.
    • To prepare for the scene in which Neo wakes up in a pod, Keanu Reeves lost 15 pounds and shaved his whole body to give Neo an emaciated look.
  • Edited for Syndication: Basic cable cuts of the film frequently substitute "Shucks" or "Smokes" for "Shit", and change Neo's line in the interrogation room scene to "How about I give you a flipper?", while completely cutting the actual middle finger (and, by consequence, the "You give me my phone call" part of the line). Also "Jeepers creepers (originally "Jesus Christ"), that thing's real?!!!"
    • The AMC edit, in particular, changes one line to "I'll bring that whole cockamamy (originally "goddamn") building down".
  • Executive Meddling: Dropping the original idea of Human Resources being a vast neural net for the more literal concept of human Duracell batteries because Viewers Are Morons. Given all the other stuff that has to be explained (or not) in this trilogy, one wonders why this idea was so difficult to put across.
  • Fake American: Although inside the Matrix proper, Neo and Trinity are probably supposed to be Americans, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are in fact Canadians.
  • Hire the Critic: For The Ultimate Matrix Collection, the filmmakers included two Alternate DVD Commentaries, one by philosophers who loved the movies, and one by critics who hated them.
  • Killer App: The Matrix was this for the DVD format.
  • Recycled Set: Sets from Dark City (1998), including rooftops, buildings and others exteriors sets, were used in this film. The rooftops that Trinity runs across at the beginning of the film are the same ones that John Murdoch runs across in Dark City.
  • Star-Making Role: For Carrie-Anne Moss, who was almost completely unknown before she became Trinity. Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, and Monica Bellucci, meanwhile, went from semi-obscure straight into the mainstream after this movie. For Keanu Reeves however, this was more of a Type-Cementing Role.
  • Throw It In: After the lobby shootout, the camera pans back showing the aftermath of the gunfight in the lobby. During this a piece of one of the pillars falls off. This happened by coincidence during the filming and was not planned, but was left since it seemed appropriate.
  • What Could Have Been:
    "I just didn't get it. I couldn't get past page 42. That world was just not interesting to me".
    • Sandra Bullock turned down the role of Trinity because she couldn't see herself acting alongside the actor the studio intended to play the role as Neo. This was before Reeves was cast. She later regretted this decision.
    • Janet Jackson was initially approached for the role of Trinity but scheduling conflicts prevented her from accepting it. In an interview, she stated that turning down the role was difficult for her, so she later referenced the film in the 'Intro' and 'Outro' interludes on her tenth studio album Discipline.
    • Michelle Yeoh was considered for Trinity.
    • Jean Reno was approached to play Agent Smith. He turned it down and took a role in Godzilla1998 instead. He was also unwilling to move to Australia.
    • The "mental projection" of the Matrix would have been plot-relevant, with Switch (the butch blonde woman and only other woman in the crew besides Trinity) appearing as a woman in the Matrix, but a man in the real world. This is perhaps mirrored by Lana (formerly known as Larry) Wachowski coming out as a transgender woman in 2012, as well as Lilly (formerly Andy) Wachowski who came out in 2016.
    • The Wachowskis were given the choice between making the Matrix sequels or Batman Begins. Imagine that…
    • Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh were initially offered the role of Seraph; Li, whom the role was written for, asked for an equal salary to Reeves' and didn't get it, while Yeoh had scheduling conflicts.
    • Sean Connery turned down the role of the Architect, as he didn't fully understand the concept of the film. Probably for the better, as his presence in the role would have been far too distracting.
    • R&B superstar Aaliyah was initially cast as Zee, which was to have been her big acting break; tragically, she died in a plane crash in the midst of filming, and had to be replaced by Nona Gaye.
    • Persistent but unconfirmed rumors state that Reloaded and Revolutions were originally planned as one 3-hour long film, with both being padded out when the decision was made to make two films.
    • Early drafts of the original film's script contain a number of things that were arguably changed for the better. Such as the climax having Neo stand back up and flipping off Smith, who helplessly lets out a Big "NO!" as Neo escapes.
  • Word of God: The Wachowskis have stated that Cypher hacked into the matrix on his own without the help of the Nebuchadnezar crew. This explains how he could have arranged a meeting with the Agents.

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