As most people know, before Keanu Reeves was cast, Will Smith turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix back in the ’90s. It’s a decision that he admittedly regrets – especially considering that he left the project to work on Wild Wild West instead. Nevertheless, YouTube wizard The Unusual Suspect has given us a look at what could have been and edited Will Smith into The Matrix.
“I watched Keanu’s performance – and very rarely do I say this – but I would have messed it up. I would have absolutely messed up The Matrix. At that point, I wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be,” Will explained in an interview. “Whereas Keanu was smart enough to just let it be. Let the movie and the director tell the story, and don’t try and perform every moment.”
Perhaps Will might get another opportunity in the upcoming Matrix films.
In one of the most famous cases of actors turning down roles, Will Smith did just that for the role of Neo in The Matrix. The role instead went to Keanu Reeves and Will Smith went onto do Wild Wild West. But let’s put on our alternate reality googles and see what The Matrix would’ve looked like had Will Smith accepted the role of Neo :)