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Will Smith Gives the Full Story of Why He Turned Down The Matrix

February 13, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

One of the legendary “what ifs” in casting history is the fact that Will Smith nearly played Neo in The Matrix. Smith famously turned down the role that become one of Keanu Reeves’ most iconic performances and, in a new video he posted to YouTube, explained why he said no to what would have been another huge role for him.

Smith said that he initially turned down Men in Black because, in his words, “I was like, ‘I’m not doing another alien movie, I don’t want to be the alien movie guy.'” He eventually agreed after talking to Steven Spielberg but was skeptical when another science fiction role came around with The Matrix.

Smith reminded the audience that at the time, the Wachowskis had only made Bound and that while the Wachowskis are “geniuses…[there’s a] fine line in a pitch meeting between genius and what I experienced in a meeting.” He recounts the tale as, “’So, dude, we’re thinking like, imagine you’re in a fight and then you, like, jump. Imagine if you could stop jumping in the middle of the jump. But then, people could see around you…’”

Smith ended up turning down the film, which was of course a huge blockbuster. He adds, “So I made Wild Wild West…I’m not proud of it.”

You can see the full video below.

article topics :

The Matrix, Will Smith, Jeremy Thomas