Prepare to enter The matrix with these 15 little-known facts about the mind-boggling 1999 Wachowski movie, released 20 years ago today.
1. The matrix has begun like a comic.
Filmmakers Lana and Lilly Wachowski originally designed the screenplay for The matrix like a comic. They had both previously written comics for Marvel.
2. The unnamed town you see in The matrix is Sydney, Australia.
The production shot the entire film, both indoor and outdoor, in Australia for tax purposes, which significantly reduced the film’s budget. However, all of the street names come from places in Chicago where the Wachowskis grew up.
3. The studio didn’t want the Wachowskis directing.
Warner Brothers originally believed that the Wachowskis, who had no directing experience, were not qualified to direct The matrix. To prove their courage, the Wachowskis wrote and directed the crime thriller Leap, which became a modest success. And convinced the studio that they knew what they were doing.
4. Martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping created the film’s elaborate stunts and spinning.
The Wachowskis specifically called on Yuen Woo-ping’s talents because they loved his work on the 1994 Hong Kong martial arts film. Fist of legend.
5. Will Smith and Nicolas Cage have both officially turned down the role of Neo.
Will Smith said no so he could do Wild Wild West. Asked by News week if there were roles he regretted refusing, Nicolas Cage replied: “I don’t really have any regrets. I think regret is a waste of time.” Still, he admitted that there were “films that I probably would have benefited from had the circumstances of my life permitted me to make them”, and cited both The matrix and The Lord of the Rings. Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio were also reportedly considered before the filmmakers chose Keanu Reeves for the role.
6. Russell Crowe, Sean Connery and Samuel L. Jackson could have been Morpheus.
For Sean Connery, it was apparently not understanding the script (which was also the reason he refused The Lord of the Rings). When they declined, Laurence Fishburne took on the role.
7. The actors were invited to perfect their knowledge of philosophy before the start of production.
The Wachowskis had all the main actors read Simulators and simulation by Jean Baudrillard, Out of control by Kevin Kelly, and Presentation of evolutionary psychology by Dylan Evans and Oscar Zarate to better understand the universe of the film. In the film, Neo actually hides his illegal computer files in a copy of Baudrillard’s book.
8. The film is color coded.
Every scene that takes place in the computer world of the Matrix has been given a green tint, while all of the scenes that take place in the real world have a blue tint. In fact, the only time the color green appears in real world scenes is in the Matrix code on the ship’s computer screen.
9. Hugo Weaving didn’t have to look far for inspiration for his character.
He modeled Agent Smith’s voice after the Wachowskis themselves.
10. The main actors trained every day for four months to perform the fight scenes.
Much like the Hong Kong martial arts films that influenced them, the Wachowskis wanted the actors, not the stuntmen, to be the ones fighting on screen.
11. Keanu Reeves had cervical spine surgery prior to training, which required him to wear a neck brace throughout.
Keanu Reeves training for the matrix with a neck brace pic.twitter.com/MbXUxXmxrh
– keanu does things (@keanuthings) May 12, 2018
This made it impossible for Reeves to give an effective kick, so Yuen Woo-ping had to adjust his choreography accordingly. In the finished film, Neo barely kicks.
12. Hugo Weaving had to undergo hip surgery after being injured during combat training.
This completely changed the filming schedule, and Weaving’s fight scenes were completed at the end of production to give him time to heal. All in all, it was a tough shoot for all of the main cast. “Hugo had hip surgery. Carrie-Anne [hurt] his hip and ankle. Laurence was hit in the head. He had his eyelid slit open … I couldn’t walk several times, “Reeves said. The Guardian. “I mean, I’m exaggerating a little bit, but there were a few sequences where I had to carry all of these guns. It was about 50 pounds of guns. And while waiting for the special effects sequences, the bullet shots. etc. There was one time we stayed, like, three hours. “
13. Neo and Trinity’s three-minute lobby shootout took 10 days.
No CGIs were used – all explosions and gunfire were practical effects.
14. Each character’s sunglasses were custom designed by Blinde Design.
They weren’t available for purchase until the movie sequels (The Matrix Reloaded and Matrix revolutions) were released.
15. The iconic “Bullet Time” effect was designed and created especially for The matrix.
Neo’s famous swirling gravity-defying backbend shot was taken using a platform containing 120 individual digital cameras and two film cameras. The still images have been carefully stitched together to create the frame-by-frame shooting. The first test shot of the Bullet Time effect yielded an almost 360-degree view of an exploding trash can.
An earlier version of this article was published in 2015.