The Matrix is one of the most iconic films from the 1990s, despite releasing only a year away from the start of the 2000s.
This film was a turning point in lead actor Keanu Reeves’ career, who had previously best been known for his comedy movies.
Few science fiction films have their viewers questioning the reality around them as much as The Matrix.
The Wachowski sisters created a mind-boggling experience when they released this movie.
Is The Matrix Real?
No, The Matrix isn’t real and is inspired by William Gibson’s famous science fiction novel Neuromancer from 1984.
This novel helped popularize the cyberpunk subgenre and defined what it meant to be a part of this alternative social scene.
Fans of the science fiction novel may recognize the shared name between The Matrix and Neuromancer’s plot-central cities of Zion.
While the world of The Matrix may be inspired by the work of William Gibson, the idea behind the Matrix is actually from Doctor Who.
Doctor Who first introduced the Matrix when sending the 4th Doctor, who was played by Tom Baker, to the virtual world to fight the Master during the serial “The Deadly Assassin”.
The idea of heroes crashing into a virtual world has been recycled throughout countless science fiction pieces throughout the genre’s history.
The Matrix was also inspired by the first serious science fiction film to ever be created, Metropolis.
This 1927 silent film was the first film to introduce the idea that human beings were secretly being used to power massive machines.
The 2 films share the idea of breaking away from the accepted behavior and revolting in the name of returning independence to all citizens.
Metropolis also warns the viewers about the risks that come with artificial intelligence replacing the working class.
Neo is inspired by Tetsuo Shima from the hit 1988 anime series Akira, with both protagonists having the ability to manipulate their surroundings.
Akira had a particularly strong influence on how chase scenes were shot in The Matrix.
Another science fiction anime series that heavily influenced The Matrix was the 1995 film Ghost in the Shell.
This series’ perspective on what technology could become if given the sentience of a human can be felt in The Matrix.
Why Do People Believe We’re Living In A Simulation?
Some people believe that we’re living in a simulation similar to the one seen in The Matrix because of some studies that have explored the possibility that we’re living in a simulation without knowing it.
Only 2 years after The Matrix was released in 1999, philosopher Nick Bostrom released a draft of a paper that he wrote for the University of Oxford that theorized that everyone was living in a simulation.
This simulation was supposedly being run on an advanced supercomputer, unlike anything we’ve ever known.
Bostrom claimed that this supercomputer was capable of doing 10⁴² calculations per second and was capable of simulating all of human history, including our thoughts and memories.
Despite all the data that this would require, this supercomputer was supposedly using less than 1 millionth of its processing power per second.
If this theory was true, that would mean that all of humankind, all of our thoughts, and all of our memories would be stored on some kind of hard drive.
Bostrom claims that he hadn’t seen The Matrix when he was first writing this paper.
This theory has been echoed by many celebrities, including Elon Musk.
According to Musk, “the odds that we’re in base reality is 1 in a billion.”
However, there have been many critics against this idea from the scientific community.
Physicist and philosopher of Dartmouth College Marcelo Gleiser claims there is no way of ever being able to prove that we’re in a simulation.
If we were in a simulation, there would be no way of figuring out what the “real world” is like.
The law of physics or even computing power could be adjusted in a simulation as just another manageable aspect of a simulation.
There is no evidence of an alternative reality.
What Is The Matrix Defense?
The Matrix Defense is a legal defense that has been used in the court of law to varying degrees of success.
In this defense, the defendant has committed a crime and claims that they decided to do it against their typical nature because they believed that they were in a virtual reality simulation.
One of the most notorious times that this defense was used was in the 2003 court case surrounding Josh Cooke and the murder of his parents.
According to Cooke, he had just had dinner with his parents and went up to his room.
All he remembers after going up to his room was the music he was listening to and looking at his poster for the popular science fiction film featuring Neo.
The 19-year-old then put on his matching combat boots and black jacket before grabbing his gun and heading downstairs to shoot his parents to death.
According to one of his defense attorneys, Cooke was obsessed with the film and genuinely believed that he was living in a virtual reality similar to the Matrix.
After being examined by a court-appointed psychologist, the court wondered if Cooke needed to plead insanity.
The Matrix defense didn’t work for Cooke, who was charged with 2 counts of first-degree murder and 2 counts of using a gun in a felony.
One of the few times that The Matrix defense has been able to help the defendant avoid prison and instead plead insanity was in the case of Tonda Lynn Ansley, who shot her boss and landlord to death in 2002.
Ansley genuinely believed that she was being drugged in her sleep, taken to another location to commit a crime, and then placed back in her bed by morning, so she would believe that everything that happened was a dream.
Why Is The Matrix So Green?
The Matrix is known for being a very green film, and this coloring was not accidental.
It was a cinematic choice meant to help viewers distinguish scenes occurring in the Matrix from scenes occurring in real life, which are instead represented by blue.
Green was chosen for the Matrix because of the way old computers had greenish tints to their screens.
Not only does the green tint give off the impression of a computer screen, but it also helps set the scene for what life is like in the Matrix.
The color green often represents decaying, sickness, and death.
The virtual world in the film is a dystopian society that was built on the sacrifices of real people, whether or not the citizens of the world know it.
Although the color-coding holds a deep meaning, Matrix cinematographer Daniele Massaccesi knew that the effect had to go by the time they began filming The Matrix Resurrection
. While computers in the 1990s may still have had a green tint to them, modern computers don’t have that same effect.
To bring back this classic 1990s and early 2000s franchise into the modern age, Massaccesi felt that the green tint had to go.
While some fans didn’t like that the green tint was no longer visible, it did allow for clearer images.
For The Matrix Resurrection, Lana Wachowski wanted to use more natural lighting throughout her newest film in the franchise.
One of the biggest changes that Wachowski wanted to make from the original film was the use of real sunlight and more practical effects.
While the original film may have been known for its heavy use of computer-generated effects, The Matrix Resurrection offers a more realistic look into what kind of graphics a life-simulating supercomputer would be capable of.
Was Will Smith Going To Be In The Matrix?
Yes, Will Smith was the original pick for the role of Neo in The Matrix.
Smith turned down the role because he was instead going to be appearing in Wild Wild West and felt that he wasn’t mature enough as an actor at the time for the role.
To accept the role, the Wachowski sisters wanted the actor cast as Neo to have a deep understanding of what the film was going to be.
To help the actor get into the proper headspace, they were asked to read novels such as Simulacra and Simulation, Out of Control, and Evolutionary Psychology before they’d even be able to read the whole script.
Although Will Smith regrets taking on Wild Wild West over the other offers he had at the time, he doesn’t regret turning down The Matrix because he feels that the movie wouldn’t have been the same if he had been in the role of Neo.
Had Will Smith accepted the role, the filmmakers would have chosen Val Kilmer to play the role of Morpheus.
Smith feels that Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne did a perfect job with the film and helped make the film as well known as it is today.
Keanu Reeves is grateful for the fact that Will Smith turned down the role of Neo, which allowed him to take on the role instead.
The Matrix was a life-changing role for Reeves, who claims it not only changed the trajectory of his career but also helped him change the way he looks at the world around him.
Sandra Bullock was also almost in The Matrix, but she turned the role of Trinity down and regretted it when she heard that her former Speed co-star Reeves had taken the role of Neo.
Why Was The Matrix Filmed In Australia?
The Matrix was filmed in Australia because the filmmakers were able to save millions of dollars by switching to this film location.
When the film first began production, they theorized that the film was going to cost $95 million to film completely in the United States.
The Wachowski sisters had trouble getting a production company to finance their film because executives claimed that the film was too difficult to understand.
Nobody knew if the film was going to do well, so the filmmakers did everything they could to cut down on costs.
By filming in Australia, they were able to cut down their budget to $60 million because the Australian dollar was worth less at the time of filming, and there weren’t as many government subsidies that would eat away at the film’s budget.
Although it was cheaper to film in Australia, it was also more difficult for location scouts to find run-down areas for filming.
With the majority of Australian filming taking place around Sydney, the majority of the run-down sets had to be built from scratch.
The scene where Trinity tells Neo “you know exactly where it ends” was filmed on Elizabeth Street in Sydney where Campbell Street meets Wentworth Avenue.
Although there were normally shops lining this part of the street, the street signs were uprooted for filming and remained uprooted for several days afterward.
The windows used for the scene where Trinity crashes the helicopter were actually in the screening room at Columbus Pictures’ Sydney headquarters.
The helicopter caused the filmmakers to nearly be stopped after they accidentally flew through restricted Australian airspace.
To allow filming to continue, airspace and filming laws were changed across New South Wales.
Filming would return to the country for each of the films, including the newest installment.
Is The Matrix A Metaphor?
Yes, The Matrix is a metaphor for the experiences of a transgender person, according to Lilly Wachowski.
The film’s creators Lilly and Lana Wachowski came out as transgender women shortly after the third movie in their hit franchise made its debut.
The Matrix features themes that include finding your own identity, aligning yourself with an accurate self-image, and transformation.
Not only were these the steps that Neo took, but they also mirror the experience of the transgender community.
The Wachowski sisters originally felt that the corporate world of filmmaking wasn’t ready for the story of transgender people back in 1999, but they are both glad that the world is now ready to know the truth behind the film and their lifelong experiences.
Lilly Wachowski used the feelings of wanting to be in a different body when she created Switch, a character who was going to be a man in the real world and a woman in the virtual world.
However, these feelings were repressed for both the Wachowski sisters during the writing process for The Matrix.
Lana Wachowski was the first sibling to transition after struggling with her identity during the filming of the second and third films in the science fiction series.
At the time, Lana Wachowski couldn’t even bring herself to say words such as “transgendered” or “transsexual”.
After working with her therapist, she was able to put together a game plan for coming out.
This plan took 5 years for Wachowski to carry out.
Lilly Wachowski came out in 2016 and was eager to express how thankful she was to be in her position.
Wachowski had a loving and accepting family, a sister who knew what she was going through, and access to the proper medical professionals to help her become who she wanted to be.
Does The Matrix Still Hold Up?
Yes, The Matrix still holds up even after 2 decades have passed and computer-generated graphics have quickly surpassed what was featured in the film.
While there are some aspects of the film that don’t hold up as well, the best parts of the film make it a science fiction film worth watching.
One of the best-aged parts of The Matrix is the fight choreography, which was instructed by Woo-Ping Yuen.
Prior to working on this science fiction film, Yuen was the director and stunt coordinator for Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master in 1978.
The plot of The Matrix has also held up incredibly well because of the way that the film sucks the viewer into its world.
Even after you finish the film and the credits have rolled, viewers are still left questioning the world around him.
While some viewers may question whether or not they’re living in a simulation, more realistic viewers are left questioning the way our world works and the daily routine we put ourselves into unknowingly.
The intense and thoughtful plot is made a success by performances from Keanu Reeves as Neo, Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus, Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, and Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith.
Many fans of Reeves point to his role as Neo as one of the best performances of his career, which is incredibly impressive for the actor who has such hits as Speed, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, John Wick, and Point Break.
Although some people may look at the computer-generated graphics as a point against The Matrix, the Wachowski sisters used the off-kilter graphics to enhance the brokenness of the Matrix.
To add to this effect, the sets are made to look incredibly run-down as though you’re looking at a grimy city scene from a video game.
Did Keanu Reeves Want To Make Another Matrix Movie?
Yes, Keanu Reeves wanted to make another installment in the Matrix franchise as long as the Wachowski sisters were involved.
For years after creating the original Matrix trilogy, Reeves was constantly being given new scripts for another Matrix film from different agents and executives.
Reeves would immediately turn them down because he wanted to ensure that the Wachowski sisters had at least signed off on any new Matrix projects.
When he received the script for The Matrix Resurrected, the actor was eager to see Lana Wachowski’s name on the piece.
Without a moment of hesitation, Reeves jumped on board for the 4th installment in the popular science fiction franchise.
The beloved actor knew that Wachowski’s parents had recently passed away when he was given the script, and Wachowski’s dedication to the franchise ensured that her scripts were special.
From Keanu Reeves’ perspective, the newest Matrix film is a love story that is meant to bring back Neo and Trinity.
Reeves felt that this film would not only be healing for audiences but for Wachowski as well.
Reeves recognized that this new script was different from the ones that Wachowski had given him before.
He felt that this film was funnier, more thought-provoking, and more challenging.
This was a film that was meant to allow the viewers to both laugh and cry, which was a stark difference from what the franchise had been known for.
Even Keanu Reeves felt that this movie would help the healing process of its creator and the fans who related so closely with the trilogy that came before.
Although the film may not have been beloved by audiences, it was a passion project that ties up the overarching story of The Matrix.