Director: The Wachowski Brothers
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Plot: A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.
Filmmakers Lana (then known as Larry) and Andy Wachowski originally conceived the storyline for The Matrix as a comic. They had both previously written comic books for Marvel.
Keanu Reeves wasn’t the first choice for Neo. One of the many who turned down the role was Will Smith, who rode off to do “Wild Wild West” instead.
The numbers 1 and 3 are everywhere in the movie. “Neo” is an anagram for “one,” whereas the Carrie-Ann Moss character is “Trinity.” Numbers spotted in the background often have the numerals 1 and/or 3 in them.
The Wachowskis said that the scene in which Neo first tries and fails to learn to jump, then bounces harmlessly off the ground, is modeled after Wile E. Coyote.
A green filter was used on all the scenes shot of the Matrix, which gave it that otherworldly feel, as though we’re seeing it through a monitor. Also, the color blue was removed from everything we see in the Matrix.
Keanu Reeves borrowed a Bruce Lee gesture. Lee, the kung fu star of “Enter the Dragon,” used to kick off his fight scenes by rubbing his nose with a thumb and forefinger. Reeves picked up the gesture for “The Matrix.”
The government lobby scene took about ten days to shoot. There is no CGI in the scene, just the actors with special effects--all the explosions are real.
When Neo leaves the matrix the first time, he vomits--according to Staenberg, Keanu was really throwing up from some "bad chicken pot pie."
When the brothers first approached the studio about the project they had a projected budget of $60 million. The studio balked at the idea of giving them that much and instead offered them $10 million to shoot the film. The brothers spent the entire $10 million on the film’s opening sequence and impressed the studio enough that they were given the initial asking budget to finish the movie.
Producers casts numerous sets of identical twins for the scene with the woman in red to give the illusion of computer program repetition.
The production shot the entire film—both interior sets and exteriors—in Australia for tax purposes, significantly lowering the film’s budget.
The scenes that take place within the Matrix are tinted green; those that happen in the real world have more of a normal coloring. The fight scene between Neo and Morpheus has a yellow tint, since it takes place in neither.
During the phone conversation between Neo and Morpheus within the MetaCortex offices, Morpheus instructs Neo to go through the window. Keanu did this himself without the aid of a stunt double, 34 stories in the air.
Morpheus, in Greek mythology, is the god of dreams.
The Wachowski siblings may have popularized the effect in “The Matrix”, but the first instance of bullet-time in a live-action film was in 1981 action film called Kill and Kill Again.
In 8 B.C., the Oracle of Delphi was the priestess to the Temple of Apollo, and the most prestigious Oracle among the Ancient Greeks. Carved on the wall of the Temple was the phrase: gn?thi seautón. Translated, it means ‘Know Thyself’. The same phrase is seen in the kitchen of the Oracle in The Matrix.
‘The Matrix Defense’ is an actual legal term. By using ‘The Matrix Defense’, the defendant claims that they committed a crime because they believed they were living in the Matrix, and not the real world. This defense has been successful on several occasions, and is a version of the insanity defense.
Neos Passport expires on September 11, 2001
According to The Wachowskis, all animals in the Matrix universe are computer generated images.