Ewan McGregor was offered, but turned down, the part of Neo. Val Kilmer was at one time attached to play Morpheus.
Will Smith was approached to play Neo but turned it down in order make Wild Wild West (1999).
Before filming, the principal actors spent four months with martial arts experts learning the fight moves. From October 1997 to March 1998.
‘Moss, Carie-Ann’ 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 some crew members, Keanu Reeves was really vomiting as shown in the film when his character Neo leaves The Matrix for the first time. It was because of a chicken pot pie he ate, apparently.
Sets from the film Dark City (1998), including rooftops, buildings and others exteriors 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.
There are many who might legitimately claim to have invented the time-freezing photographic technique used in the movie. It might have been French director 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. The debate rages on. But not here.
The scene in which Neo meets the gifted children in the Oracle’s apartment is an homage to the similar scene at the end of Akira (1988). The Wachowski brothers acknowledged the influence of anime films in a brief USA Today interview a few days after the film’s release.
There are numerous references to “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There”.
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 first 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, Zui quan (1978) in which Jackie Chan’s character masters the style of Zui Chuan, or Drunken Boxing.
When Neo is calling to get extracted from the Matrix, he says, “Mr. Wizard get me out of here.” – a reference to the 1960s cartoon Tooter Turtle. Each episode, Tooter would yearn to be something he wasn’t and have his friend Mr. Wizard (a lizard) wave his magic wand and make him an astronaut or a scientist or whatever. Inevitably, Tooter would quickly get himself into trouble and call out, “Help Mr Wizard,” and the lizard would say, “Drizzle, drazzle, druzzle, drome, time for this one to come home.” Tooter would be transported back to his old self and be chided by Mr Wizard to “be happy with what you are”.
When the traitor meets with agent “Smith”, we learn that his name is Reagan. He says he wants to be someone important, maybe an actor, and that he wants to “remember nothing”.
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” & “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” & “Exit Mr. Hat” are anagrams of “The Matrix”.
When Neo is in the elevator on his way up to see the Oracle, to his right one can see “KYM” carved into the wall. This apparently refers to Kym Barrett, costume designer.
As Neo runs through the old lady’s apartment near the end of the film, we see an image on the TV of a menacing man in a black suit coat. The image is that of one of the Number 2s from the TV show “Prisoner, The” (1967).
The glyphs on the computer screens, with the exception of the call traces, consists of reversed letters, numbers, and Japanese katakana characters.
All of the references to street corners (e.g. Wells and Lake) are real intersections in Chicago, USA, the Wachowski brothers’ 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).
Trinity’s room number is 303 (“trinity” 3). Neo is The One and number of his apartment is 101.
When Neo is meeting with the Oracle, the music playing in the background in her apartment is Duke Ellington’s “I’m Beginning to See the Light”.
The number of the phone Trinity was using at the beginning of the movie is 555-0690.
In the Oracle’s waiting room, the television is showing white rabbits (which, at the beginning of the film, Neo was instructed to follow) from Night of the Lepus (1972).
Some personal information can be seen on Thomas Anderson’s “criminal record” that Agent Smith glances at when he interrogates Neo: – The last update to the file was July 22, 1998 – Neo’s date of birth is “March 11, 1962” – Neo’s place of birth is “Lower Downtown, Capitol City” – Neo’s mother’s maiden name is “Michelle McCahey” – Neo’s father’s name is “John Anderson” – Neo attended “Central West Junior High” and “Owen Paterson High” (named after the film’s production designer).
The motorcycle Trinity rides is a jet black Triumph Speed Triple.
The name of the company Neo works for is Metacortex.
“Know thyself”, the phrase in the kitchen of the “oracle”, was the inscription above the entrance of the Delphic Oracle.
The car used while inside the matrix is a black 1964 Lincoln Continental.
The name of the company Neo works for 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.
Neo’s room number is 101. Room 101 was the place in George Orwell’s book “1984” where people were sent to be tortured and would end up believing something that wasn’t true.
Principal photography wrapped at 1:01 AM with the scene where the characters are inside the wall, climbing down. -Principal photography took 25 weeks/118 days
The hallway where Trinity first runs from the agents is where Neo makes his last stand against the agents.
This is the second time that Laurence Fishburne plays a captain of a ship. He was Captain Miller in Event Horizon (1997).
Neo is often referred to as the “One”. One is an anagram of Neo.
The book Neo hides his computer discs in is called “Simulation and Simulacra”. The chapter where they’re hidden called Nihilism. Nihilism often involves a sense of despair coupled with the belief that life is devoid of meaning.
The blocking moves Neo uses against Agent Smith upon his realization of being “the One”, are the exact same techniques Daniel LaRusso uses against Mr. Miyagi upon his realization that he has in fact been karate training in Karate Kid, The (1984). Sand the floor, paint the fence, wax on, wax off…
Reeves was recovering from neck surgery while training for the Matrix. During the four months of training, he had to wear a neck brace.
By the middle of 2002, the famous “Bullet Time” sequence had been spoofed in over 20 different movies.
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 (I) 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 lead 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.
The windows that Trinity crashes the helicopter into are apparently those of the Columbia Pictures screening room in Sydney, Australia.
The date stamp on the phone trace program in the opening sequence reads “2/18/98”. The date stamp on the phone trace program in the closing sequence reads “9/18/99”. This means that the events in the movie take place over exactly 19 months.
Before his character’s final speech at the end, Keanu Reeves never has more than five sentences in a row to speak.
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.”
Numerous sets of actual identical twins (not CGI generated) were used as extras in the scene in which Morpheus takes Neo through a computer simulation of The Matrix.
Shot almost entirely in Sydney, Australia, the location scouts found it very difficult to find burned-out, american-ghetto-looking locations. Many of the urban-decay locations had to be created from scratch.