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Sandra Bullock Was Offered the Role of Neo in The Matrix Before Keanu Reeves

March 30, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Keanu Reeves The Matrix 4

The story of Will Smith turning down Neo in The Matrix is well-known. But a lesser-known story is that Sandra Bullock nearly played the role. Speaking with The Wrap, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura revealed that they reached out to Bullock before Reeves after Warner Bros. demanded an A-List name for the lead role.

“We went out to so many people I don’t remember. We were getting desperate,” di Bonaventura told The Wrap, noting that they considered Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Will Smith. “We went to Sandy Bullock and said ‘We’ll change Neo to a girl.’ Joel Silver and I worked with Sandy on Demolition Man and she was and continues to be a very good friend of mine. It was pretty simple. We sent her the script to see if she was interested in it. And if she was interested in it we would try to make the change.”

He continued, “It just wasn’t something for her at the time. So really it didn’t go anywhere.”

For his part, Smith looked back on his decision to turn down the role last month in a YouTube video.

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The Matrix, Jeremy Thomas