1. Directors Lana (previously Larry) and Andy Wachowski originally wrote The Matrix as a comic book. They incorporated all the things which they liked - Kung Fu, anime, science fiction and action. In their first pitch to producer Joel Silver they explained the concept as "anime for real." The Wachowskis liked that in comic books the action can be slowed down to show a moment. Combining that with a love of the wire work used in Hong Kong movies - "...it's very balletic, everyone has superhuman, supernatural grace."
2. To make The Matrix the Wachowskis requested a budget of $60 million from Warner Bros. The studio came back with their own figure, and offered them just $10 million instead. So the duo took that money and spent it all on the opening scene. They then went back to Warner Bros. and showed them the completed footage. Warners were so impressed they stumped up the additional $50 million.
3. Keanu Reeves was way down the list of actors sought out to play Neo. Will Smith was first choice, but he turned it down choosing to make Wild Wild West instead - oh hindsight, you are a cruel mistress! Amongst the other actors approached before Reeves were Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, and the man who tends to say yes to everything, Nicholas Cage, who in a rare moment actually turned a role down!
4. Samuel L Jackson, Gary Oldman and Sean Connery were considered for the role of Morpheus, and Russell Crowe was actually offered the part before Lawrence Fishburne came on board.
5. All the action that takes place in the Matrix has a green tint to it, supposedly to give the impression of looking through one of those old green screen computer monitors.
6. The scene were Trinity meets Neo for the first time was shot in a real S&M club in Sydney, called The Hellfire Club. All the extras were actual customers.
7. Some elaborate prosthetics were produced for the scene featuring Neo with acupuncture pins in his body. Surprisingly though, all the pins in his head all real! Thinking about it, that could explain a lot about Keanu Reeves.
8. The scene with the woman in red features dozens of sets of real identical twins. It was cheaper to cast actual actors than create duplicate effects through editing.
9. Although The Matrix pioneered a lot of special effects, the government lobby scene does not feature any. It was a real office building set, all the explosions were real, the helicopter on wires and all the firing was real, as well as the water pouring in all over the place. In total it took 10 days to film the less than 3 minute scene.
10. Finally, here's one to consider next time you pop The Matrix into the DVD player. When Neo leaves the matrix the first time, he vomits. Apparently this was not faked, as on that day of shooting Keanu Reeves had food poisoning from some "bad chicken pot pie."
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