Way, way back in 1999, the sci-fi action movie The Matrix seemed to come out of nowhere and change cinema forever with it’s combination of high-concept and ground-breaking special effects. It made a superstar out of a perfectly cast Keanu Reeves, but we have learnt over the last few years that the reason this match made in Hollywood heaven came to be is because a host of other actors said no.
Well, add Brad Pitt to that list, as the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star has now revealed that he too turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix all those years ago.
“I did pass on The Matrix. I took the red pill. That’s the only one I’m naming … I wasn’t offered two or three. Only the first one. Just to clarify that. I come from a place, maybe it’s my upbringing, if I didn’t get it, then it wasn’t mine. I really believe [the role] was never mine. It’s not mine. It was someone else’s and they go and make it. I really do believe in that. If we were doing a show on the great movies I’ve passed on, we would need two nights.”
Other than Brad Pitt presumably meaning the blue pill, rather than the red pill, his attitude towards rejecting a role in such an iconic movie is commendable. He seems pretty relaxed about the whole thing, philosophical even, reasoning that what is meant to be, will be and concluding that he has passed on a variety of high profile roles and that it makes little sense to dwell on them.
While Pitt does not specifically say that the role he turned down was Neo, it has been previously reported that he was considered for the part, and really, it just makes the most sense. However, this may well be the first time that the actor himself has confirmed that he was offered, and subsequently turned down a part in the movie.
His overall outlook seems to suggest that in his view, the right actor will always get the role, and so, in his mind, Neo was always meant to be portrayed by the breathtaking Keanu Reeves. At this point it is very hard to imagine anyone else but Keanu being The One, but it is interesting to consider what Pitt would have done with the character.
For now though, we will happily stick with Keanu, who will be reprising the role in the upcoming The Matrix 4. Directed by Lana Wachowski, the plot remains a mystery, but we do know that alongside Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss will be reprising the role of Trinity, as well as newcomers Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, and Eréndira Ibarra. Sadly, it was recently reported that Hugo Weaving will not be returning as Agent Smith.
The Matrix 4 is scheduled to hit theaters on May 21, 2021. This comes to us from USA Today.