Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

Old 02-14-19, 01:31 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Sonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 18,143
Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999



I felt this should have it's own thread for discussion purposes because I'm still a huge Matrix fan. I tried to find an original Matrix thread to insert this in but couldn't find a contender.

I fucking lol'd when he said he chose to do Wild Wild West instead

Will Smith had to take that huge "L". But he does make a good point in the video commentary, The Matrix would have not been as big as it was if he was casted in it. Keanu Reeves definitely fitted the role perfectly.

I also had no idea Val Kilmer was considered to play Morpheus.
Sonic is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 04:22 AM
  #2  
Member
 
Brack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: near Cincinnati
Posts: 9,659
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

I

Val Kilmer would’ve made a decent Morpheus.
Brack is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 04:50 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Ash Ketchum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11,617
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

I don't care WHY Will Smith turned it down, I'm just glad he did. I love Keanu in the role. I would not have loved Smith.
Ash Ketchum is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 05:58 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shannon Nutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 16,578
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

Here's the often unmentioned deal with movies: It takes the right actors with the right director and the right screenplay (and some luck) to make a "great" film. No one knows what the combination is, but it's obviously not easy, or we wouldn't get so many bad films and so few excellent ones.

It's kind of like sports. One football QB or baseball pitcher is a disaster on one team, gets traded to another and turns into a superstar - it's all about chemistry and the right elements coming together.
Shannon Nutt is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 06:02 AM
  #5  
kd5
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
kd5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 9,396
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

The Matrix would've turned into another stupid comedy if WS was cast as Neo, I'm thankful the casting went just as it did.
kd5 is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 08:23 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Bluelitespecial's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,661
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

I can't see Will Smith doing Kung Fu and all the training Keanu did for the role.
Bluelitespecial is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 09:05 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mike86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 18,458
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

I have a hard time seeing Will Smith, especially 90s era in the role of Neo so Im glad he turned it down. Hes better as the action comedy guy rather than the more straight up action/sci-fi of something like The Matrix.
Mike86 is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 11:13 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Hokeyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 18,997
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial View Post
I can't see Will Smith doing Kung Fu and all the training Keanu did for the role.
You never watched Ali? Say what you want about the movie, but Smith was absolutely believable in combat.
Hokeyboy is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 11:35 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
davidlynchfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 3,038
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

Maybe the sequels would've at least been better with Will.
davidlynchfan is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 11:39 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Mr. Flix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,649
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

My opinion: Smith would have done just as good a job in the role as Reeves did. (Assuming, of course, that the script remained the same and didn't shoehorn any instances of Neo saying, "Aw, hell no!")

Anyone other than Carrie-Anne Moss in the Trinity role would have been a detriment to the movie, though.
Mr. Flix is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 01:03 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Somewhere between Heaven and Hell
Posts: 30,475
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

devilshalo is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 01:37 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Koby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Isle de Muerta
Posts: 1,771
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

I could never picture the "fresh prince" as "the one".
Koby is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 02:05 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: MA
Posts: 12,079
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

I thought it was well known that he turned down Matrix for Wild West?
Noonan is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 04:47 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,086
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial View Post
I can't see Will Smith doing Kung Fu and all the training Keanu did for the role.
Maybe not, but Will should have been able to pull it off...


melasnus is offline  
Old 02-14-19, 04:55 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Why So Blu?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 30,364
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

Originally Posted by Noonan View Post
I thought it was well known that he turned down Matrix for Wild West?
It was but clickbait headlines are a thing now with sites rehashing old shit.
Why So Blu? is offline  
Old 02-15-19, 10:56 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,416
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

If Will Smith did star in the Matrix as Neo, Would we ever see this:

Match is offline  
Old 02-15-19, 11:33 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,985
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

Originally Posted by Match View Post
If Will Smith did star in the Matrix as Neo, Would we ever see this:
IMO, most likely yes. The time span between them was substantial and Reeves hit 50 which in current Hollywood means you get cast as a bad ass. He may not have been first pick for the role though.
RichC2 is offline  
Old 02-15-19, 11:53 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,356
Re: Why Will Smith turned down Neo in The Matrix 1999

I'd never heard that story before. I think that Keanu is better at playing a blank character, which worked well for the role. Will Smith would have gone all movie star in the role, and made the movie more about him.
Nick Danger is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.