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The Matrix (1999) Poster

(1999)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (10)
To prepare for the scene where Neo wakes up in a pod, Keanu Reeves lost fifteen pounds and shaved his whole body to give Neo an emaciated look.
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The opening action scene took six months of training and four days to shoot.
All scenes that take place within the Matrix have a green tint, as if watching them through a computer monitor. Scenes in the real world have a blue tint. Blue was also used at a minimum within the Matrix, since the directors thought blue was more of a real-world color (despite, ironically, blue being often the least-occurring color in nature). The fight scene between Morpheus and Neo, which is neither in the real world, nor in the Matrix, is tinted yellow.
After the lobby shoot-out, the camera pans back, showing the aftermath of the gunfight. A moment passes, and a large chunk of one of the pillars falls off. This was not planned, but was left in for effect.
Carrie-Anne Moss twisted her ankle while shooting one of her scenes, but decided not to tell anyone until after filming, so they wouldn't re-cast her.
According to costume designer Kym Barrett, Trinity's costume was made with cheap PVC because of the much tighter budget. Similarly, Neo's coat wasn't actually a very expensive fabric. It was a wool blend purchased for $3 a yard.
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At the directors' request, the actors and were to be able to understand and explain The Matrix, not only as a film, but a philosophy. Simulacra and Simulation was required reading for most of the principal cast and crew. Keanu Reeves stated the Wachowskis had him read Simulacra and Simulation, Out of Control, and Evolutionary Psychology even before they opened the script. Eventually, he was able to explain all the philosophical nuances involved. Carrie-Anne Moss commented that she had difficulty with this process.
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The studio insisted on a great deal of explanatory dialogue, as they described the screenplay as "the script that nobody understands."
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In 2012, The Matrix was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry archives for being culturally historically or aesthetically significant.
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Laurence Fishburne stated that once he read the script, he did not understand why other people found it confusing. However, he had a doubt if the movie would ever be made, because it was "so smart".
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Carrie-Anne Moss performed the shots featuring Trinity at the beginning of the film, and all the wire stunts throughout, herself.
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When Belinda McClory auditioned for the role of "Switch," she was only going for half the role; the character was originally planned to be played by androgynous actors. In the Real World, Switch would be a male actor, and in the Matrix, a female. Hence the name "Switch". Warner Bros. refined the idea and McClory ended up getting a single female role in both environments. In interviews many years later, the Wachowskis (who at the time had been considering undergoing sexual reassignments) stated that there were trans elements in the film. This was one of them.
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Won all four of the categories it was nominated for that year at the Academy Awards. This is the largest clean sweep of nominated categories for a film not nominated for Best Picture.
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The filming of the helicopter scene nearly caused the film to be shut down; they flew the helicopter through restricted Sydney airspace. Laws in New South Wales, Australia were subsequently changed to allow filming to proceed.
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Numerous sets of identical twins were cast as extras in the "Woman in Red" scene to create the illusion of a repeating training program made with limited resources. Example: the tall man with slicked-back hair and sunglasses in the opening shot is seen a few seconds later as a police officer writing a parking ticket.
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In Greek mythology, Morpheus is the god of dreams. This is ironic, considering Morpheus' role in the film is to "awaken" people from their "dream states" within the Matrix.
In the first forty-five minutes of the film, Neo has eighty lines. Forty-four of these lines are questions, averaging roughly one question per minute.
For Agent Smith's voice, Hugo Weaving emulated a 1950s news reader. Laurence Fishburne compared him to Walter Cronkite.
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On the first day of shooting, Hugo Weaving suffered an injury to his leg, which turned out to be a polyp that had to be surgically removed. For a while, there was a suggestion that he would have to be re-cast, but, by shifting the schedule around so that all of his stuntwork would take place at the end of shooting, Weaving was able to keep the part.
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Shot almost entirely in Sydney, Australia, the location scouts found it very difficult to find run-down American-looking locations. Many of the urban-decay locations had to be created from scratch.
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Prior to pre-production, Keanu Reeves suffered a two-level fusion of his cervical spine, which had begun to cause paralysis in his legs, requiring him to undergo neck surgery. He was still recovering during pre-production, but insisted on training. Stunt coordinator Woo-Ping Yuen let him practice only punches and lighter moves. Reeves trained hard, and even requested training on days off, however, the surgery left him unable to kick for two out of the four months of training. As a result, Reeves did not kick much in the film.
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For Keanu Reeves' scenes that are set in the Matrix at the start of the film, his wardrobe was deliberately shabby and ill-fitting, suggesting Thomas Anderson's feeling of not quite fitting into the world.
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Will Smith was approached to play Neo, but turned down the offer in order to star in Wild Wild West (1999). He later admitted that, at the time, he was "not mature enough as an actor" and that, if given the role, he "would have messed it up". He had no regrets, saying that "Keanu was brilliant as Neo." He also noted that if he had been cast as Neo, the studio wanted Val Kilmer for the Morpheus role, which would have deprived audiences of Laurence Fishburne's iconic performance. Sandra Bullock had been offered the role of Trinity, but turned it down because Will Smith was in the film. She regretted her decision; had she been cast, she would have been reunited with Keanu Reeves, with whom she previously starred in Speed (1994).
The iconic sunglasses worn by the Matrix characters are from the label "Blinde," which prides itself on producing handmade glasses. The company's founder, Richard Walker, had to tender against large companies, such as Ray-Ban and Arnette, to win the film's sunglasses contract, and set himself apart by scratch-designing pairs of glasses based purely on the characters' unusual names. When his tender was successful, Walker was flown into Sydney where he spent the duration of the Matrix shoot custom-designing sunglasses for the cast in the back of an Oxford Street optometrist.
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The Wachowskis harbored their vision for five and a half years, working through fourteen drafts of the screenplay. Although most studio executives who read the script loved their ideas, they had extreme difficulty imagining how this would translate onto the screen. The Wachowskis then hired leading illustrators Steve Skroce and Geofrey Darrow, who created over 600 storyboards. Executives were reportedly sold immediately after seeing the bold vision on display, and green-lit the film.
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In the combat training program, before Neo spars with Morpheus, he rubs his nose with his thumb, similar to what Bruce Lee would do before he attacked his opponents. The move was improvised by Reeves.
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With the exception of the call traces, the glyphs on the computer screens that represent the Matrix code consist of reversed letters, numbers, and Japanese Katakana characters.
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When Neo gets in the car with Trinity for the first time, Switch refers to him as "Coppertop." Coppertop is slang for the Duracell brand of batteries, which is also the battery Morpheus shows Neo as he explains how the human race became an energy source.
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By the middle of 2002, the famous "Bullet Time" sequence had been spoofed in over twenty different movies.
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According to the Wachowskis, all animals in the Matrix universe are computer generated images.
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By filming in Australia, the film-makers kept the final budget at $60 million. The movie would not have been green-lit by Warner Bros. otherwise, because it would have cost a record $180 million for a U.S.-based production.
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When Tank is uploading the martial arts training to Neo, there is a shot of the computer screen as it scrolls through the various martial arts styles. The graphics have a computer image of a person and the title of the style below. The fifth one on the screen is entitled "Drunken Boxing". Woo-Ping Yuen, the fight choreographer for this movie, was director and fight choreographer for Jackie Chan's early hit, Drunken Master (1978), in which Chan's character masters the style of Zui Chuan, or Drunken Boxing. Some of the other martial arts fighting styles being downloaded are Jiu-jitsu, Savate, Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, and, of course, Kung Fu.
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Carrie-Anne Moss said that after the film's release, she could not go out wearing sunglasses, as she was instantly recognized.
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When Carrie-Anne Moss saw the first cut, it was the first time she had seen herself in a movie.
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The hotel and room number where Neo is told to go after the fight in the subway are the same as those where Trinity awaits the police in the beginning of the movie.
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The first time he saw the movie, Laurence Fishburne said, "Morpheus scared the s*** out of me."
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Hugo Weaving stated that the character of Agent Smith was enjoyable to play because it amused him. He developed a neutral accent with specific "character" for the role. He wanted Smith to sound neither robotic, nor human, and also said that the Wachowskis' deep voices influenced Smith's own. When filming began, Weaving mentioned that he was excited to be a part of something that would extend his abilities.
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The climactic subway fight scene between Neo and Agent Smith went ten days over schedule.
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Before filming, the principal cast spent four months (Oct. '97 to Mar. '98) with martial arts experts learning choreography. They had initially thought that it would take just a few weeks.
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All the color blue was sucked out of the exterior shots to convey how grim the world of the Matrix actually is.
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Due to Keanu Reeves' neck injury, some of the action scenes had to be re-scheduled to accommodate his full recovery. As a result, filming began with scenes that did not require much physical exertion, such as the scene in Thomas Anderson's boss' room, the interrogation room, or the car ride where Neo is taken to see the Oracle.
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The helicopter rescue of Morpheus took over six months to prepare and plan.
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The book Neo hides things in is called "Simulacra and Simulation," a treatise by Jean Baudrillard that explores the post-modern concept of simulation and hyperreality. The chapter where they're hidden is called "On Nihilism." Nihilism often involves a sense of despair coupled with the belief that life is devoid of meaning. This same book was required reading for all principal cast prior to reading the script.
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While filming the scene where Neo slams Smith into the ceiling of the subway tunnel, Chad Stahelski, Keanu Reeves' stunt double, sustained several injuries, including broken ribs, knees, and a dislocated shoulder. Another stuntman was injured by a hydraulic puller during a shot where Neo was slammed into a booth.
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Many Hollywood studio execs passed on this project claiming virtual reality sci-fi was "bad business," citing the failure of previous movies like Johnny Mnemonic (in which Reeves also stars) as examples.
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The dojo set was built well before it was used. During the dojo sequence, there was significant physical contact between both actors, earning them bruises. Because Keanu Reeves's neck injury prior to filming meant he had insufficient training with wires up to that point, and due to the physical toll he had taken by Fishburne up to that point, he was unable to perform the triple kick move satisfactorily and became frustrated with himself, causing the scene to be postponed. The scene was shot successfully a few days later, with Reeves using only three takes. Woo-Ping Yuen altered the choreography of the scene from then on, and made the actors pull their punches in the last sequence of the scene, creating a training feel, and giving them both much-needed relief.
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Some personal information can be seen on Thomas Anderson's criminal record that Agent Smith glances at during interrogation: The last update to the file was July 22, 1998. Anderson's place and date of birth are "Lower Downtown, Capital City on March 11, 1962. Anderson's mother's full maiden name is "Michelle McGahey," while his father's name is "John Anderson." Thomas attended "Central West Junior High" and "Owen Paterson High" (named after the film's Production Designer). A few seconds later, a photocopy of his passport can be seen. There, the place of his birth is CAPITAL CITY, USA, and his date of birth is 13 September, 1971. The passport was issued on 12 September 1991 and set to expire on 11 September 2001, a Tuesday, infamously the day of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.
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Before his character's final speech at the end, Keanu Reeves never has more than five sentences in a row.
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The name of the company where Thomas Anderson works is Metacortex. The roots of this word are meta-, which according to Webster's means "going beyond or higher, transcending," and -cortex, which is "the outer layer (boundary) of gray matter surrounding the brain." Thus, Metacortex is "transcending the boundaries of the brain," which is precisely what Neo proceeds to do.
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The helicopter was a full-scale, light-weight mock-up. Only the blades needed to be added in post-production by the visual effects team.
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In the early stages of developing what was to become the famous Bullet Time sequence, visual effects supervisor John Gaeta and director of photography Bill Pope constructed many gimbals and dollies in the hope of creating the effect the old-fashioned way. The original dolly they created for the camera would be led around the action at a tremendous speed, but after many failed tests and broken dollies, they opted for computer graphics, which meant writing an entirely new program for the effect. However, the Bullet Time sequence does still use one very old-fashioned technique: still photography.
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The name of Morpheus' ship, the Nebuchadnezzar, is a Biblical reference to King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, from the Book of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar the Great was famous for his conquests of Israel in Biblical times (specifically Judah and Jerusalem). He also built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (one of the lost Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) for his wife. He has a dream he can't interpret, but keeps searching for an answer, in Daniel 2:1-49. This reflects the search for answers those who wish to escape the Matrix pursue, and which Morpheus and his crew attempt to provide after freeing their minds.
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Laurence Fishburne said that Morpheus was like being Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader in one character.
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According to the film's armorer, John Bowring, the guns held by Keanu Reeves in the lobby and elevator sequences were actually plastic, lightweight weapons. They made a very faithful cast of the MP5K, which weighs about 150-200 grams, so that Keanu could carry them without worrying about the weight. Heavier versions were also made if they were meant to be dropped on the floor.
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Carrie-Anne Moss auditioned with the scene in the nightclub where she first approaches Thomas Anderson a.k.a. Neo.
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The windows into which Trinity crashes the helicopter are those of the Columbia Pictures screening room in Sydney, Australia.
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The Wachowskis have said that the popular Japanese manga and the film of the same name, Ghost in the Shell (1995), were big influences on the development of the film.
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According to Don Davis, Johnny Depp was Lana and Lilly's first choice for Neo, but Warner Bros. wanted Brad Pitt or Val Kilmer. After Kilmer and Brad Pitt said no, Warner Bros. was willing to consider Johnny Depp, and then it came down to Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves, whom Warner Bros. was pushing. Keanu was always really tuned in to the concept, and made a big difference in the casting.
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The last scene shot was Neo getting flushed into the lake when he gets unplugged for the first time.
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For the scene when Neo wakes up in the pod connected to the Matrix, the pod was constructed to look dirty, used, and sinister. During the testing of a breathing mechanism in the pod, the tester suffered hypothermia in under eight minutes, so the pod had to be heated.
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The spring-loaded cell phones used in the film were Nokia Stilletos or 8110s. Also known as the "Banana Phone."
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In an online interview when the film was first released, the Wachowskis revealed that they'd both take the Blue Pill when given Neo's choice.
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The key of the beginning theme you hear at the beginning of every Matrix movie (rousing strings and horn blasts) ascends with each movie. The Matrix (1999) starts in the key of E minor, The Matrix Reloaded (2003) ascends a whole step to F-sharp minor, and The Matrix Revolutions (2003) ascends half a step to the key of G minor.
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Sets from the film Dark City (1998), including rooftops, buildings, and other exterior sets, were used in this film. The rooftops that Trinity runs across at the beginning of the film are the same ones that John Murdoch runs across in Dark City. Both movies deal with humanity being kept in a carefully constructed illusion by outsiders, which prompted claims that The Matrix had effectively ripped off Dark City; in reality, the screenplay of The Matrix had been written long before Dark City was released.
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To prepare for the wire fu, the actors had to train hard for several months. The Wachowskis first scheduled four months for training. Woo-Ping Yuen was optimistic, but then began to worry when he realized how unfit the actors and actresses were. Yuen let their body style develop, and then worked with each actor's or actress' strength. He built on Keanu Reeves' diligence, Laurence Fishburne's resilience, Hugo Weaving's precision, and Carrie-Anne Moss's feminine grace. Yuen designed Moss' moves to suit her deftness and lightness.
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The film pays a huge homage to Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", although there are also references to Karl Marx, Franz Kafka, Zen, and Homer's Odyssey. One of the main featured works of literature is "Simulcra and Simulation" by the French philosopher Jean Baudrillaud. The book can be seen lying open in Neo's apartment, and was required reading for all the principal cast and crew.
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The idea for the movie was created when the Wachowskis were thinking for some new story for a comic book series. They wrote the entire script before their first directorial venture Bound (1996), and worked on it up until the time of production.
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Gary Oldman was considered for Morpheus at one point, as well as Samuel L. Jackson.
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The first day of shooting was the scene where Neo receives the phone from Morpheus in the office and attempts to flee from the Agents.
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The Wachowskis' approach to action scenes drew upon their admiration for Japanese animation such as Ninja Scroll (1993) and Akira (1988). Ghost in the Shell (1995) was a particularly strong influence. Joel Silver has stated that the Wachowskis first described their intentions for the film by showing him that animé and saying, "We wanna do that for real."
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All of the references to street corners (for example, Wells and Lake) are real intersections in Chicago, Illinois, the Wachowskis' hometown. The subway train has signs for "Loop," another Chicago reference. The film however is quite obviously not set in Chicago or any other real city (though it was filmed in Sydney).
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Warner Bros. green-lit the movie fairly late during pre-production. For a long time, artists working on pre-production were not sure whether the film was ever going to be made.
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The Wachowskis story-boarded the entire film before production. According to set decorator Tim Ferrier "the project was visually the most well-prepared show I've ever worked on."
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According to costumer Gloria Bava, Neo's original coat was a silvery leather. It was changed because the heavy material barely moved, even under the influence of a wind machine, and the directors wanted something that was able to billow and float, like "liquid sky," a reference in their script. A lighter, black fabric was found, and only cost $3/yard.
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William Gibson's novel Neuromancer was an influence on the film (in particular, use of the term "Matrix"). After watching the film, Gibson commented that the way that the film's creators had drawn from existing cyberpunk works was "exactly the kind of creative cultural osmosis" he had relied upon in his own writing. However, he noted that the film's Gnostic themes distinguished it from Neuromancer, and believed that it was thematically closer to the work of Philip K. Dick.
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Hugo Weaving had to undergo hip surgery after being injured during fight training, which completely shifted the shooting schedule. Consequently, Weaving's fight scenes were completed at the end of the production, in order to allow time for him to heal.
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The Wachowskis instructed Laurence Fishburne to base his performance on the character Morpheus in Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics.
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When Neo is meeting with the Oracle, the music playing in the background in her apartment is Django Reinhardt's "Nuages". Following this tune can be heard Duke Ellington's "I'm Beginning to See the Light".
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When Lana and Lilly Wachowski's screenplay for Assassins (1995) was being made for producer Joel Silver, the Wachowskis brought Silver the script to this film. He was bowled over by their screenplay, but not by the Wachowskis' insistence that they direct the film themselves. He told them to cut their teeth by directing something else instead, which is why they made Bound (1996). The success of that lesbian crime thriller proved to be the calling card that the Wachowskis needed to earn the trust from Warner Bros. to direct this movie themselves.
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Neo's mouth melting shut during the interrogation scene is an intentional homage to the sci-fi novel "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream," which served as one of the many influences for the film. The scene was accomplished with CGI and practical effects. His lips joining together and separating as gooey flesh before sealing shut is CGI, while the rest of the shots were practical. Plaster and prosthetic makeup was used over Keanu Reeves' mouth to simulate the latter effect.
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The visual effects comprise roughly twenty percent of the entire film.
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After reading the script, Carrie-Anne Moss stated that at first, she did not believe she had to do the extreme acrobatic actions as described in the script. She also doubted how the Wachowskis would get to direct a movie with a budget so large, but after spending an hour with them going through the storyboard, she understood why some people would trust them. She underwent a three-hour physical test during casting, so she knew what to expect subsequently.
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When Mouse is cornered by the S.W.A.T. team during the raid, the guns he pulls out are a pair of cam-operated, electrically-driven 12-gauge automatic shotguns with 25-round drum magazines, capable of firing at 900 RPM. They were built specially for the movie by John Bowring, the film's key armorer.
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Neo is often associated with the number one. (Neo is an anagram for one, and a major plot point is whether or not he is "the One".) Meanwhile, Cypher's name means zero (from the Arabic sifr). Together, zero and one represent the basis of binary data, and thus the basis of all modern computer data. (Neo also lives in apartment 101, a number composed entirely of those two digits.) Finally, Trinity's name means "group of three", and she first appears in room 303.
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The fight scenes sound effects, such as the whipping sounds of punches, were created using thin metal rods and recording them, then editing the sounds.
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Agent Smith refers to Cypher as Mr. Reagan during their meeting. This makes him the only character in the movie besides Neo to be identified by both their Matrix identity and their real world "handle" identity.
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The only film in the trilogy where Neo utilizes firearms. It's also the only one released in the 20th century/second millennium.
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"Temet nosce", the phrase in the kitchen of The Oracle, was the inscription above the entrance of the Delphic Oracle. The phrase comes from Latin and it translates as "Know thyself".
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According to Lana Wachowski, for the slow-mo bullet ripple effects, sound designer Dane A. Davis put bullets on strings and whirled them around his studio. Also he digitized raindrops against window panes to create the sound of the Matrix code.
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The Nebuchadnezzar was designed to have a patched-up look, instead of clean, cold and sterile space ship interior sets as used on films like Star Trek (2009). The wires were made visible to show the ship's working internals, and each composition was carefully designed to convey the ship as "a marriage between man and machine."
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When Morpheus is explaining "What the Matrix is" to Neo, he uses the phrase "Welcome to the desert of the real." This is a paraphrase from Jean Baudrillard's "Simulacra and Simulation", the hollowed-out book where Neo keeps his illegal software. The quote can be found in Chapter One - The Precession of Simulacra, Page one, Paragraph 2, "It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges persist here and there in the deserts that are no longer those of the Empire, but ours. The desert of the real itself." NB: The American title of Baudrillard's book is Simulations. It was published by Semiotext(e) in 1983.
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The movie draws inspiration from Plato's Allegory of the Cave.
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Gillian Anderson turned down the role of Trinity.
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Michael Hutchence was cast in a major role, but died by suicide only three days after learning he had got the role.
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Despite widespread rumors, Sir Sean Connery was offered the role of the Architect in the sequels, not that of Morpheus.
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For the subway scene, the set was first planned to be shot in a real subway station, but due to the amount of the actions and the wire works, the decision was made to shoot on a set. The set was built around an existing train storage facility, which had real train tracks.
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The Wachowskis approached Hugo Weaving to play Agent Smith after seeing his performance in Proof (1991).
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According to the inscription on the Nebuchadnezzar's core, the ship was "Made in the USA" in the year 2069. It also states that it is a "Mark III, No. 11" model, which is a possible reference to Mark 3:11, which reads "And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, they would fall down in front of him shrieking, 'You are the Son of God!'"
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On a computer, a "cookie" is a piece of data. The Oracle gives Neo a literal and a figurative cookie.
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As of April, 2016 a research team at DARPA was working on a project which focuses on Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (abbreviated TNT) which involves the use of electrodes put at the base of the neck and the use of electrical impulses to influence a person's neurotransmitters. The purpose is to allow Agents to learn languages and other complex subjects in a fraction of the time. It is similar to Neo being plugged into the training program to learn complex skills faster, except not as medically invasive.
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When the idea of The Matrix was in early development in the early 1990s Lana & Lilly Wachowski's first choice for the role of Neo was Brandon Lee but he died tragically on the set of The Crow (1994).
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When Will Smith was being offered the part of Neo, the Wachowskis thought of pairing him with Val Kilmer as Morpheus. According to Smith, the only portion of the film that the Wachowskis pitched to him was the frozen-in-mid-air jump kick scene. This made Smith skeptical and he opted to make Wild Wild West (1999) instead, which was a massive critical and commercial flop winning him two Razzie awards in the process. The film also won Worst Picture.
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According to producer Barrie M. Osborne, the Wachowskis originally wanted the Trinity chase on real rooftops, rather than on a stage.
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The song that Neo is listening to when Trinity contacts him is called "Dissolved Girl" by Massive Attack. Oddly enough, the song is not on the film's soundtrack, even though it was the first song in the film and is part of a significant scene.
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For the "Ultimate Matrix Collection" DVD re-release, the film was given a totally new, clean DVD transfer to replace the grainy one that had been on DVD since 1999, and give it the clear, sleek look of the sequels, which had not been seen since the theatrical release.
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'Matrix' is the late Latin word for 'womb' - which would make "The Matrix has you..." an apt warning with a double meaning, referring to both the computer-generated dream world, known as The Matrix, that imprisons the human mind, and also to the cocooned physical state of the human body which is being simultaneously harvested for bioelectric power in an artificial womb.
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During the Trinity rooftop chase at the film's beginning, two distinctive city skylines are noticeable. Nashville, Tennessee's BellSouth Building and L & C Tower are visible behind the Agents. San Francisco's TransAmerica and Coit Towers can be seen behind Trinity after she jumps past the Guns & Ammo billboard.
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Body count: 39.
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The sound of the pod containing a human baby closing, required almost fifty sounds put together. When viewing the rough cut, the Wachowskis had spontaneously made the kind of sound they wanted with their mouths, but there was no simple real-world reference.
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Carrie-Anne Moss was a cast member of the short-lived television show Matrix (1993).
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One subtle bit of foreshadowing comes in the form of Cypher making Wizard of Oz references while everyone else makes Alice Allusions. This shows he is somehow apart from the rest of the Nebuchadnezzar crew, but also can be seen as illustrating a fundamental difference in how he perceives his awakening. While Alice in Wonderland is at its core a story about a girl finding freedom in an otherwise dangerous and confusing world, Wizard of Oz is a story about a girl slipping into a new land in the midst of tragedy, being hunted for something she never asked for, and forced to become a killer, all while yearning to return home, where she awakens with memories of the other world as if they were an odd dream, presumably to eventually forget them.
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Ewan McGregor turned down the role of Neo, as he was filming Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). Both movies would compete against one another for Best Visual Effects during the Academy Awards ceremony the next year, with The Matrix winning the award.
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There was a rumor that the studio had little faith in the project, and only gave the Wachowskis $10 million instead of the $60 million dollar budget that they had asked for. Allegedly, the directors spent that entire amount on the opening scene alone, which impressed the studio sufficiently for them to green-light the rest of the budget. This story was later discredited, although there was a hint of truth: when studio executives were unhappy with how the production moved along and threatened to intervene during filming, the directors and editor hastily compiled the opening scene and finished it with temporary sound and visual effects. The result was enough to keep the studio off their back for the rest of the shoot.
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While asleep (inside the Matrix) at the beginning of the movie - one of Neo's illicit computer searches revealed that Morpheus had eluded authorities at Heathrow airport.
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The lobby shootout took ten days to film.
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The only non-Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be nominated for Best Editing. Nevertheless, it won the award.
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"Tastee Wheat", which is mentioned when Mouse is trying to describe the food in the real world, was replaced by "Sex Crispies" in the German version of the movie.
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The car used while inside the matrix is a black 1965 Lincoln Continental.
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The Agents' costume was designed to create a secret service, undercover look, resembling JFK (1991).
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Russell Crowe turned down the role of Morpheus. He said. "I just didn't get it. I couldn't get past page 42. That world was just not interesting to me."
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After Smith sends Neo flying backwards with a punch to the chest, Neo spews blood before getting back to his feet. Once he does, he taunts Smith in a fighting stance. The stance branches from the style Hapkido.
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The bending of spoons in the Oracle's apartment is a nod to the 1970s psychic-pop fad of telekinetic spoon-bending (proven to be simple stage magic), most notably by Uri Geller.
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Jada Pinkett Smith auditioned for the part of Trinity. She later played Niobe in The Matrix Reloaded (2003). Her husband, Will Smith, was offered the role of Neo, but he turned it down.
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The green code that makes up the matrix was created by the production designer scanning in his wife's Sushi recipes from a cookbook.
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Thomas Anderson a.k.a. Neo wakes up seven times during the course of the film.
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Keanu Reeves and Hugo Weaving nicknamed each other "the neck" and "the leg" during preproduction in reference to their schedule-upending injuries.
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According to Marcus Chong, the actors and actresses were encouraged to make their characters stoic and repressed.
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Jean Reno was approached to play Agent Smith. He turned it down and took a role in Godzilla (1998) instead. He was also unwilling to move to Australia.
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A combination of practical and digital effects were used for the interrogation scene where Neo is implanted with the bug. A prosthetic stomach was used for the scene where the agents hold down Neo so that Agent Smith can activate the bug that digs into his belly button, notice the small indentation a few inches away from his navel where the plastic had slightly bent. A remote controlled device was also used to simulate the bug's tendrils that were squirming around once they were inside of his stomach. The bug itself was also a combination of CGI and an animatronic. The scene where it activates is CGI while the shot where it's squirming on his stomach is practical, when it's digging into his navel it's CGI.
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The lobby shoot-out was inspired by the works of John Woo.
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Takes place 6 months before The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003).
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Leonardo DiCaprio turned down the part of Neo, supposedly because he was concerned about the amount of visual effects.
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The food on the Nebuchadnezzar hover-ship was a "rice porridge", according to Australian actor Matt Doran, who played Mouse.
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Together, the name of Choi and his girlfriend Dujour form "Choi Dujour" referring to the French phrase "choix du jour", or "choice of the day", an allusion to the power of choice within the Matrix and the choices that Neo makes that lead him to his destiny.
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The first film to be shot in the then just-opened Fox Studios in Sydney.
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John Cusack lobbied hard for the role of Neo.
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The Wachowskis hired Woo-Ping Yuen to be the fight choreographer based on his work on Fist of Legend (1994).
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David Duchovny turned down the role of Neo in order to star in The X Files (1998).
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This wasn't Keanu Reeves' first cyberpunk part. He also played the title role in Johnny Mnemonic (1995).
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The office building in which Smith interrogated Morpheus was a large set, and the outside view of the building was a large, several-story high sheet of background.
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Christian symbolism: Early on, Choi tells Neo: "Hallelujah. You're my saviour, man. My own personal Jesus Christ." Indeed, Neo has a few parallels to Christ. The question of whether he is "the One" reflects the question of whether Christ is truly the Messiah (in both cases, a saviour whose coming has been foretold). Furthermore, his last name, Anderson, etymologically means "son of man", a biblical phrase referring to Christ. Like Christ, he is declared dead but then resurrects. The name Trinity (as in the Holy Trinity) also adds to the Christian theme.
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The screenplay appears to have borrowed several plot elements from the 1973 German TV miniseries Welt am Draht (World on a Wire), including a computer simulated world that's indistinguishable from reality to its inhabitants; unique self-aware computer programs who recognize the artificial nature of the simulated world and know of the real world's existence; and real world people who enter the simulation as avatars of themselves and return to the real world by making a phone call.
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When Neo fights Morpheus in the construct, the three pieces of music that play on the score are termed the "Bow Whisk Orchestra" by Composer Don Davis. It consists of a semi-improvisational piece with Asian instruments by Davis, the song "Leave You Far Behind" by Lunatic Calm, and another piece by Davis called "Switch or Break Show". Both "Bow Whisk Orchestra" and "Switch Or Break Show" are anagrams of "Wachowski Brothers". Also, when Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity return to the building after visiting the Oracle, the piece of music that plays is called "Threat Mix". Later, when in the same building Morpheus fights Agent Smith, the musical piece is called "Exit Mr. Hat". Both "Threat Mix" and "Exit Mr. Hat" are anagrams of "The Matrix".
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Jennifer Beals turned down the role of Trinity.
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The Wachowskis cited The Girl from Tomorrow (1991) as one of their inspirations behind the movie.
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The motorcycle Trinity rides is a jet black Triumph Speed Triple.
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Lou Diamond Phillips was sent the script, but was later told by his agent that the movie would flop.
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There are many who might legitimately claim to have invented the time-freezing photographic technique used in the movie. It might have been Michel Gondry, who used it for the first time in a commercial (for an insurance company) and then in a video clip for Björk. It might have been architectural graphics artist Matthew Bannister, who, in his academic work, suggested that motion and time in video could be separated, and proposed an apparatus for doing it much like that used for the film (but who was unable to make it work with then-available technology), or even artist Tim MacMillan, who demonstrated the technique on British television in 1993. It may be that each of them, and others, invented it independently.
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Chow Yun-Fat turned down the role of Morpheus.
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In an eerie coincidence, Neo's passport expires on September 11 2001.
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During the scene in the Oracle's living room where Neo meets the Potentials, Night of the Lepus (1972) is on the television in the background.
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The powerful sidearm used by the Agents in all three Matrix films is the Magnum Research/Israeli Military Industries Desert Eagle .50 AE.
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Madonna revealed on The Jimmy Fallon Show recently that she had turned down a role in this film. She later stated that this was one of the best films ever made.
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Principal photography wrapped at 1:01 a.m., with the scene where the characters are inside the wall, climbing down. Principal photography took 25 weeks, or 118 days, which was almost a month over the 90 days that were initially allotted.
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The film takes place around the year 2199.
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Sophia Stewart had a case pending against the directors, producers, and studios behind the Matrix and Terminator movie franchises, claiming that they were all based on a 35 page screenplay treatment she wrote in 1983 called "The Third Eye". Although the case was rejected because of the litigant's failure to present evidence in a timely fashion, Stewart continues to discuss her version of events online. For example, the "John Connor" and "Neo" characters are (she claims) the same individual in her treatment. The time frame doesn't seem to sync with reality though, since The Terminator was going to be shot and released in 1983, but had to be postponed because of Schwarzenegger's commitment to Conan the Destroyer. In a nutshell, The Terminator was written before her work was.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Nicolas Cage turned down the role of Neo due to scheduling conflicts regarding family issues.
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Agent Brown and Agent Jones never take off their sunglasses.
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The FedEx envelope that Neo receives has the FedEx logo in red and blue lettering. Neo signs for the envelope with a pen that allows the selection of either red or blue ink. These items foretell and reference Neo's upcoming selection between the red and blue pills. This is most likely the Bic 4 colour biro pen offering red, blue, green and black ink options.
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Joe Pantoliano and Carrie-Anne Moss worked together again in Memento (2000).
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Christopher Meloni auditioned for the role of Agent Smith.
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Joe Pantoliano had worked with the Wachowskis before on Bound (1996).
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Keanu Reeves was dressed in tight-fitting clothes to make him feel more confined in "everyday life."
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The antique television Morpheus shows to Neo in the construct is an AWA (Amalgamated Wireless - Australasia) Radiola "Deep Image" Model 209C or very similar model, circa 1958. Its bottom speaker section with fabric grille is missing, probably removed by set design to create a cleaner appearance.
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Janet Jackson was initially approached for the role of Trinity, but scheduling conflicts prevented her from accepting it. In an interview, she stated that turning down the role was difficult for her, so she later referenced the film in the "Intro" and "Outro" interludes on her tenth studio album "Discipline".
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The shot as Trinity tells Neo, "you know exactly where it ends", was filmed on Elizabeth Street (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) looking north alongside CityRail's - Central to City Circle - train line from where Campbell Street also intersects with Wentworth Avenue. The white wooden scaffolding illuminated to the left was actually there before filming. Shot at night, the rain was added by a firetruck. Local street signs were pulled out and remained uprooted street-side for several days after location filming had moved on.
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Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Anthony Hopkins, Malcolm McDowell & Robert De Niro were considered for the role of Morpheus.
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Brad Pitt turned down the role of Neo. He didn't believe the role was his.
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The way Neo and Morpheus attack each other with the same move, their clothes and head/hair forms the Ying-Yang Symbol.
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Michelle Yeoh was considered for the role of Trinity.
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Cypher, whose last name is Reagan, wants to be "important, like an actor," a wink to President Ronald Reagan. A reference to this is that in the same conversation, Cypher says that he doesn't want to "remember anything". President Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.
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Neo's first scene chatting with his friends (the ones that take him to the nigthclub where he meets Trinity) is rife with foreshadowing. One of his friends calls Neo "my savior, my own personal Jesus Christ" and then, after hearing the strange story about his computer, quips "you need to unplug, man".
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Mark Wahlberg was considered for the role of Neo.
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Along with the many other Christian parallels in this movie, the character Cypher is a reflection of Judas Iscariot in the New Testament. Judas was one of the twelve apostles that Jesus chose to minister in his name, but, in a tragic turn of events, Judas denied his perfect knowledge of the Savior by betraying Him in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. Cypher likewise betrays Morpheus and the entire cause of Zion in exchange for the vanities of the Matrix.
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At the 72nd Academy Awards, Arnold Schwarzenegger presented the Visual Effects award segment which The Matrix (1999) won. A decade earlier Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the science fiction film Total Recall (1990) which Schwarzenegger stars as a man who goes to the planet Mars to solve of the mystery of himself when a memory implant procedure of a holiday on Mars goes wrong. Like The Matrix, Total Recall is about the nature of reality and about a man whom gets caught up with rebels which he falls in love with a female rebel warrior. In both films, the film's protagonists are offered red pills which will return them to reality.
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The first trace program gives a view of the City's area code, but the camera zooms in before it can be completely determined, leaving the phone number as (3?2) 555-0690. Three locations exist in the United States with similar codes: Chicago (312), Delaware (302), and the northwestern Florida peninsula (352). Since the original script indicates that the number is 312-555-0690, and there are numerous other references to Chicago in the film (such as State street, which is in downtown Chicago), we can assume that the area code is 312.
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In the last scene, in which Agent Smith's chasing Neo through a building, as Neo's looking for an exit, he runs through an apartment occupied by two old women (right after Tank said for Neo to go to his "other" left). On the television, is The Prisoner (1967), the iconic late 1960s television series, in which a secret agent (no name officially given) has been abducted, and awakens to find himself imprisoned in an unnamed village. The landmark series supposes how "we're all prisoners".
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Switch was originally meant to change genders upon entering the Matrix, which coined their name "Switch". In the real world, Switch would be male, and in the Matrix, Switch would be female - a very clever and critical point of the 'residual self-image' idea. When actress Belinda McClory auditioned for the role, she was going for only half the role. Warner Brothers made the decision to cut this and give Switch one form for both environments. Switch's presentation is deliberately androgynous to pay homage to their original concept. Lilly Wachowski would later say that The Matrix contains a "trans metaphor" by the name of "Switch". Switch highlighted "where [their] headspaces were" when it came to the idea of The Matrix, but from a "closeted point of view." The early concept for Switch's presentation may be a reflection of Lilly and Lana Wachowski's struggles with their gender identity, which were unknown to the public at the time.
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When we are introduced to Neo, he's asleep at his computer. Images are seen rapidly changing on the screen, one of which is the front page of an actual Arabic newspaper. Loosely translated, the title of the newspaper means "Midday". Additionally, the main body of the page is about the negotiations between Lebanese Christians and Syrian President Al Asaad in the late 1990s.
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The film bears a couple of similarities to the "Terminator" films: The film takes place in a dark post-apocalyptic future, in which machines have taken over the world. Morpheus and a band of rebel warriors are fighting to free humanity from the machines and the Matrix computer program. Neo is believed to be the chosen one who will destroy The Matrix and end the war between man and machine. Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity wear sunglasses and leather outfits. Trinity rides a motorcycle in one scene. Neo works as an employee of a computer company and is also a computer hacker. Agent Smith, a law enforcement program, has the ability to change into the form of other individuals in The Matrix and one of the weapons Neo uses on the Agents is a Mini gun.
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David Schwimmer was a frontrunner for the role of Neo.
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The name of the City's subway network is CityRail, which also happens to be the name of Sydney's suburban rail network.
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The bomb used in the elevator used a redundant pair of mercury switches. They are triggered by movement, which causes the mercury to touch a pair of contacts, completing an electrical circuit. These are also referred to in Lethal Weapon (1987).
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Neo (Keanu Reeves) takes at least two pair of Beretta 92FS pistols with him on his mission to save Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). While it may seem ridiculous to carry several copies of the same gun, it would be faster to drop the pistols when empty and pull out "fresh" ones than it would be trying to reload them, particularly when dual-wielding, as Neo does in the film. Also, such practice would have a rich precedent in the flintlock era, when bandits or pirates were known to carry up to six loaded one-shot pistols into battle.
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When Neo has a meeting with his boss at Metacortex near the start of the film, the boss talks about choices. The boss is called Rhineheart which may be a reference to Luke Rhinehart, author of "The Dice Man" - a book about choices.
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Will Smith turned down the lead role to star in Wild,Wild West (1999). Smith later admitted that it was the worst decision of his career.
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The vintage TV seen in an early scene in the film is an AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australia) brand model. In the helicopter scene later in the film the white tower on top of a building seen in the background in several shots is the AWA Radio Tower, an iconic Sydney landmark.
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The Lafayette Hotel escape sequence originally continued in to the sewers and then back up in to the streets as Morpheus attempted to create a diversion, resulting in his capture. The storyboards for this version can be seen in "The Art of the Matrix", and a somewhat different sewer escape segment was included at this point in the "Path of Neo" videogame.
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Neo's combat training lasted for ten hours.
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The original script had a lot more swearing in it, namely a lot of f words, but any uses of the F word that weren't dropped were replaced with the S word for the final product.
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There is an anecdote repeated in the "Matrix Revisited" documentary and "Art of the Matrix" book about the "red dress" scene. Apparently when the actress emerged in costume for the first time, a nameless someone was pulling their car out of a nearby garage. They were so transfixed that they drove directly in to the garage door before it had finished raising. After destroying their paint job and windshield wipers they slowly drove off the set in embarrassment.
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The 44 cue names in Don Davis' musical score include: 10 gags based on character names (7 around "Switch"); 5 anagrams of "Wachowski Brothers"; 3 anagrams of "The Matrix"; and only one reference to philosophy. The cue for the "Spoon Boy" scene is titled "Boon Spoy", which is of course a spoonerism.
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During Neo's training, he asks Morpheus: "What are you saying, that I can dodge bullets?" Morpheus responds, "No, Neo. What I am saying is that when you are ready, you won't have to." At the end, Neo becomes the One and stops bullets with a mere gesture.
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Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Joe Pantoliano are left-handed.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
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Drake, Nas, B.o.B, Rakim, Ab-Soul, Mac Miller, Machine Gun Kelly, cflynna, Kendrick Lamar, Common, Rick Ross, Donavan LaMond Johnson, Lupe Fiasco, Wale, Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, Gucci Mane, 'Lil' Kim', Currency, The Game, Danny Brown, Kid Cudi, Jeezy are all hip hop artists that mention the Matrix in their music. R&B star Chris Brown recorded a song called The Matrix and released a video which is heavily inspired by the events of the movie and the character of Neo.
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The Agents, including Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), famously carry IMI Desert Eagle Mark XIX pistols, chambered in .50 Action Express, as their sidearms throughout the movie. The Desert Eagle was specifically chosen by the Wachowski brothers as the Agents' sidearm-of-choice, against the advice of armorer John Bowring, who dismissed them as "wanker" pistols
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Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) carries a pair of Beretta 84FS Cheetahs as her sidearms in the film. These were selected because Moss has small hands and full sized Beretta 92Fs would be gigantic in her hands.
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When Neo is caught alone with the agent at a subway station and they use up their entire clips, the agent says, "You're empty" foreshadowing the fact that Neo had finally freed his mind.
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The number that Neo dials for Guns and Ammo is 555-0161.
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Even though Cypher is seen holding a submachine gun on the poster, he never uses one in the movie, just like Morpheus is seen holding a pistol on the poster but never uses one in the movie.
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Switch (Belinda McClory) is seen carrying a silver chrome Browning Hi-Power with adjustable sights in 9mm caliber as her weapon of choice.
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The opening (and closing) scenes take place at Heart O' The City Motel. While the official name of the city in which the film takes place is Edge City, it is very clearly an homage to Chicago, the hometown of the Wachowskis, there is in fact a "Heart O' The City" motel in Skokie, IL; which is just on the outskirts of Chicago. While it doesn't share the same aesthetic, it's certainly a nod.
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The Oracle's outfit and kitchen design reference Michelangelo's "Delphic Sibyl" a painting of a Greek prophet who predicted the coming of the Son of God.
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In cryptography, an Oracle is a component of a secure system which leaks encrypted information through its responses to superficially-benign queries. Utilities that confirm apparently-neutral properties of an encrypted message using their internal knowledge of the encryption scheme, for example, can form the basis of an "oracle attack" which a creative user may exploit to obtain the content of the message itself.
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For the "bullet time" scene Proof of concept tests were first conducted by Mass.Illusions in Lennox Massachusetts. "We did the bullet time tests to help producer Joel Silver raise money for the movie," explained Pierre Jasmin to the VFX magazine before & afters in a 2019 interview. According to Jasmin, the Wachowskis presented the team at Mass.Illusions with evocative storyboards for what bullet time would look like. John Gaeta, who directed the test shots at Mass.Illusions, would go on to supervise the visual effects for The Matrix via Manex, a VFX facility in Northern California. The first step to realizing bullet time is blocking. Because in order to set up the all-important camera rig (well, cameras rig), you need to know how your subject is going to move. So, first things first, Gaeta and co. blocked out the action using a series of still image cameras. They then scanned the images into a computer so that the filmmakers could map and strategize the position of characters and the path the "virtual camera" would take. Using these simulations as a guideline, cameras were placed side-by-side on a specialized rig that was set up using a motion-controlled laser-pointing system that could judge the correct angle and focal distance. For the most famous iteration of bullet-time in The Matrix, where Neo dodges bullets on a rooftop, the set-up involved 120 still cameras and two film cameras. Placing the cameras close together was imperative to create the illusion of motion, as each camera only captured a single still photo. These cameras were triggered at extremely close intervals, so the action would appear to unfold slowly as the viewpoint moved at a "normal" pace. The cameras were either fired sequentially or all at the same time depending on the desired effect. Single frames from each camera were then arranged and displayed consecutively to produce an orbiting viewpoint of a frozen or slowed action. Once scanned into the computer, the resulting strip of still images is not dissimilar to animation cels. And speaking of animation, now is as good a time as any to talk about interpolation, the first of several techniques that give the final effect a fluid appearance. Bluntly put, "motion interpolation" is a process that uses an AI-powered algorithm to "animate" more frames in a sequence of stills. Also known as motion interpolation, the technique effectively creates a perceived increase in frame rate by creating new intermediate frames. This makes the motion feel less jittery and allows parts of the image (e.g. Neo's cape) to flow more smoothly. The Matrix's bullet-time sequences could not be shot on location, since most of the cameras could "see each other." Scenes were shot on a green screen and the backgrounds were replicated using photos of the real locations as textures for the 3D modeled environment. Actors were held in position by wires to both prevent them from falling over and to prolong their actions so that the final filmed movement looked effortless. Digital elements (bullets, light, etc.) were then added in post-production.
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Keanu Reeves slipped and fell over during filming of the lobby gunfight.
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Sophia Stewart, a sometime writer who claims to have created the Matrix and Terminator franchises (and others) says that Terminator is a prequel to the Matrix and together both franchises are apart of an epic. She says that Sarah Connor is Neo's mother and Neo is a representation of Jesus Christ.
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The phone number for City Boarding is 555-0156.
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Now Playing Podcast reviewed The Matrix. This film received three "recommends".
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Tamara Brown's debut.
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Both Joey Pantoliano and Laurence Fishburne made guest appearances on M*A*S*H during its last season.
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The green code was created by a production designer who scanned his wife's sushi recipes from a Japanese cookbook.
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According to the time stamp of Trinity's call at the start of the film (Thursday, February 19th, 1998 at 1:24:18 p.m.) and that of Neo's call at the end of the film (on Saturday September 18th, 1999 at 2:31:21 p.m.). The elapsed time comes to precisely one hour, seven minutes and three seconds shy of 576 days
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In a deleted line, Cypher explains to Neo that Morpheus had identified several other candidate Ones in the past, all of whom died after attempting to fight the Agents.
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Agent Smith tells Morpheus that humans are a cancer who move to an area and multiply until all resources are consumed. By The Matrix Revolutions (2003), Smith is a virus that has consumed every program in the Matrix.
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Cypher's conversation with Trinity at the very beginning of the movie has three instances, one minor, two major. His comment "We're gonna kill him, you know that, don't you?" refers to Morpheus' later reveal that adults aren't offered the red pill because their minds are too attached to the Matrix's reality to let go; note his "He's gonna pop!" when Neo is freaking out after the Construct scene and the "potentials" in the Oracle's apartment all being kids. Cypher comments how Trinity likes to watch Neo, hinting on her being in love with him. Later, Trinity says, "Are you sure this line is safe?" and Cypher replies, "Of course I'm sure." Later, an Agent says, "The informant is real." This foreshadows Cypher being The Mole.
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Pretty much everything in the Oracle's talk with Neo, but three lines in particular: "Your next life, perhaps," "One of you [Neo or Morpheus] is going to die," and "Take a cookie. I promise by the time you're done eating it, you'll feel right as rain." The first two are directly connected to Neo finally becoming the One in the hotel during the fight with the Agents; the third implies insertion or activation of the "Prime Program" the Architect cites in The Matrix Reloaded, as his powers start awakening after he eats the cookie.
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After The Oracle reveals Neo that he is not the One, she says him: "You got the gift, but it looks like you're waiting for something. Your next life, maybe". The quote proves to be true at the ending of the movie: after Neo is killed by Smith, Trinity gets resurrect him, turned finally in One.
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Morpheus warns Neo that some people are so dependent on the Matrix that they will resist liberation from it. Then Cypher chooses to turn on his allies and return to it.
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Apparently, there is no reason for that Smith catches Neo in the room 303 he was looking to escape at the end of the movie after the fight in the subway. However, the room that Neo was looking for is the same room where police cops and Agent Brown tried to arrest Trinity at the beginning of the movie. Knowing where he was going, Smith was faster than Neo to catch him in the room 303.
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At the beginning of the movie, Neo is told to "follow the white rabbit" which Dujour has a white rabbit tattoo. The Wachowskis wrote it as a nod to "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll which in the story, Alice follows a white rabbit down a white rabbit which she enters the strange magical world of Wonderland. It is also mentioned in dialogue by Morpheus in the scene which Neo meets Morpheus and Morpheus offers Neo to take the blue or the red pill which Neo chooses to take the red pill which will free him from The Matrix.
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As Neo and Morpheus get on a elevator as they are on their way to see The Oracle, Morpheus nods to a blind man whom in return nods back. This foreshadows Neo losing his eyesight in a fight with Bane whom has been assimilated by Agent Smith in the 3rd movie.
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When Neo meets Morpheus, this one offers him two pills, red and blue, symbolizing blue to keep in the Matrix and red to get out of Matrix and to be in the real world. It foreshadows his own decision: when Neo wakes up after to take the red pill, he is inside a giant pod which contains him in red liquid. It means, a giant "red pill" which contains not only him, but the rest of human beings encapsulated in uncountable red pills.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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