It's time to take the red one and see how far this rabbit hole goes.

That's right, it's time to plug back in and explore the incredible world of The Matrix Trilogy. The story of Neo, a man unplugged from a virtual world and thrust into a war between man and machine captivated audiences for years. Following a prophecy that he is The One, a hero destined to shut down the Matrix and stop the machines from enslaving the human race for good, the films combined incredible visual effects, martial arts fighting styles and a heavily science fiction influenced plot that drove audiences around the world into a frenzy. People fell in love with the story of Neo, his love interest Trinity, his mentor and best friend Morpheus and his nemesis Agent Smith. However, the world of The Matrix is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

Injuries to the actors stemming from pre-filming training sessions. Film studios who nearly nixed the famous directors who brought the franchise to life. Actors who tackled deadly stunts that nearly cost them their lives. The franchise that science fiction fans around the world love and adore is filled with some truly disturbing facts you had no idea even existed.

So it's time to face off against the machines and check out the thirty dark facts about the Matrix trilogy you had no idea existed before. These facts will shock you, and perhaps change your perception of the films overall. Let's dive in, Mr. Anderson...

30 Brother's Test

via Reddit

Films are not defined solely by the actors who bring certain characters or roles to life. The film wouldn't exist without the writers, set and costume designers, the producers or even the incredible editing team that puts the film together.

However, the leaders of the film and this franchise are none other than the directors.

They guided everyone to create the best films possible. Everyone knows that the original trilogy was directed by the Wachowskis. However, Warner Bros didn't believe in them enough to have them take on the project right away. In order to prove themselves worthy of bringing The Matrix to life, they made a film called Bound, which saw a female ex con work with a partner to steal millions and frame her partner's corrupt ex-boyfriend. The film became a success and allowed the directors to tackle the Matrix, and the rest is history.


29 Not The One


Keanu Reeves is Neo, the hero of the franchise known as The One. A kind of messiah of sorts, he was a computer programmer inside the Matrix, and once he was liberated he learned he was far more connected to the Matrix than any other human, able to perform feats no one else could. Without the incredible performance and work of Mr. Keanu Reeves, this franchise would not have found the footing that lead to a major film legacy. However we nearly had a very different Neo. The role was considered for actors Will Smith, Nicholas Cage, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio. Thankfully we avoided disaster and found the perfect Neo. That's not to say these other actors aren't good at their profession mind you. However the role of Neo is so iconic to Keanu that it's impossible to imagine these other actors bringing the role to life the way he did.

28 Morpheus' Secret Technique

via Rolling Stone Brasil - Uol

Who is The One without his mentor? That's the question Warner Bros. nearly had to choose after it came time to choose the actor who would bring Morpheus to life. Neo's mentor and best friend Morpheus was brought to life perfectly by Laurence Fishburne. Morpheus was the man who rescued Neo from the Matrix. He explained to our hero that he was one of the millions of tank grown humans used as a power source for the machines, who took over the world decades earlier. Morpheus and a few others managed to escape the Matrix and work to rescue humans.

He taught Neo Kung-Fu.

He taught Neo the way the Matrix worked. Ultimately, he became Neo's closest friend and most trusted adviser. However, Mr. Fishburne wasn't the studio's first choice. Actors Sean Connery, Russell Crowe and Samuel L. Jackson all read for the role, but luckily Fishburne won the day.

27 No Kicking — No Gain

via Plugged in

This film franchise was a one of a kind adventure. Before filming began, the directors had all the actors spend four months training with a martial arts choreographer. This helped all the actors acclimate to the rigorous fighting regimen that each scene needed, as this was an action heavy film. However, the star of the film nearly had to cancel his training because of some serious surgery woes. Actor Keanue Reeves had to have special training for the film. While everyone had to learn choreography and fight training, Keanu had cervical spine surgery before training began. This forced him to wear a neck brace throughout training, so his trainer Yuen Woo-ping adjusted Reeves training so that in the film he did very little kicking. So scenes that featured his fighting prowess may appear to feature fist fighting and little to no kicking. If you ever wondered why, now you know.

26 Hips Don't Lie

via Wetpaint

While Reeves underwent surgery before training, Hugo Weaving, who portrayed series villain Agent Smith, had to have hip surgery after being injured during his fight training. The training process for these films was super intense, and when actors throw themselves so fully into the training process they can sometimes come out with some pretty serious injuries. Sadly this moved the shooting schedule around a lot, and forced Weaving to film his fight scenes at the end of the film's production in order to give him time to heal from his injury. While the final product for the film came out perfectly, it's hard to picture an actor having to undergo so rigorous a training period, only to come out of the training with a major injury. Thankfully the injury didn't impact the final film, as it would have been difficult to see a film without Weaving's perfect portrayal of Agent Smith.

25 Grueling Filming

via Geek Supply Co.

One of the most infamous scenes from the original film has to be the lobby fight scene. In this scene, Neo and Trinity arrive armed to the teeth, fighting through guard after guard in this building's lobby in order to rescue Morpheus from the Agents holding him. The scene was one of the longest scenes in the film, showing the two partners take on a small armada and absolutely decimating the structure they were walking through.

It's the perfect scene to show off the theme of old school martial arts action films and modern day science fiction storylines combining perfectly.

While this scene was a complex one, it might shock you to know that the actors had to spend ten days total filming it. That's because no special effects were used in the scene. Instead, all of the explosions, gunshots and fight scenes were practical effects.

24 The Secret Promo Scandal

via The Geeky Guide To Nearly Everything

One of the best ways to promote a film is with a movie poster. Just look at the poster above. This was a huge part of drawing in the audiences to this incredible film franchise. The movie poster is so beloved and sought after with film audiences that studios have had a history of their products being stolen. Whether this involves theater employees or eager fans, these posters have a habit of disappearing. The film studios apparently feared that people would go around stealing the promotional materials for the film's sequel, The Matrix Reloaded. So they sent the posters in tubes labeled with "Caddyshack 2" and "The Replacements". The theaters were confused about why they were being sent these film's promotional items, and so didn't open them up. It wasn't until the day before the film's release that they realized what was happening and had to scramble to put the materials up.

23 They Risked It All... We're Lucky It Worked

via Yoshio Productions

One of the things that helps determine whether a film is a mega blockbuster hit or not is the budget of the film. The budget helps determine how strong a special effects budget the film has, how nice the costumes are and the caliber of the actors they can afford to pay for being a part of the film. Making The Matrix cost quite a fortune. The Wachowskis wanted to have a budget of $80 million to film. However, Warner Bros. only gave them $10 million. So they decided to take a risk and use all $10 million on the opening scene of the film, where Trinity hangs balanced and frozen in time as she goes to kick a security guard and make her escape. The scene impressed the studio so much that they ended up giving the filmmakers the original $80 million they had asked for.

22 Defying The Odds

via Coub

Most actors refer to professional stunt men or women in the scenes that prove dangerous to film. These scenes can lead to an actor's untimely death if not done properly or if an accident occurs that an actor is not prepared to account for. That's why stunt actors exist: to help bring scenes involving high octane action to life on the big and small screen. However, Keanu Reeves is not most actors.

In the original film, when his character has to traverse a walk outside of an office window, Reeves did the stunt himself.

This scene involves Mr. Anderson, who is being contacted by Morpheus for the first time. Agents are after him, and his only means of escape is to traverse this huge ledge high above the ground. This was dangerous because he was really 34 stories up above the ground, walking on a small ledge outside this building. Now that's dedication.

21 Twin-Sanity

via Pinterest

The first film in the franchise was made in a time with little to no special effects available. Most of the special effects were, in fact, practical effects, and with the clever direction of the directors and the way the film was made, fans were none the wiser.

This is especially evident with the woman in red.

In the original film, one of the "training programs" Neo is put through involves the woman in red. A beautiful woman in red walks down the busy city street as Morpheus talks to Neo, and is meant to show the danger of being distracted. Fans may notice in this scene that around the woman in red are several copies of the same people. Well, this isn't a special effect or computer generated image. No, these are twins hired by the film to make it appear as if the actors were really walking through a computer simulation.

20 Don't Take No For An Answer

via Movie Motorbreath -

It's rare that you hear of someone who doesn't want to work on a film but ends up doing so anyway. Choreographer Yeun Woo-ping apparently didn't want to work on this film. You read that right. The man behind some of the most memorable fight scenes in not only this franchise but the film industry had zero interest in working on The Matrix. However instead of just refusing, he attempted to make it impossible for the directors to hire him. He demanded a large fee to work on the film, thinking it would dissuade them. However they agreed without hesitation. He then demanded to have complete control over the film's fight scenes and that he get four months to train the actors. This didn't work either, and both were given to him without hesitation. Flummoxed, Yeun went on to create some of the best fight scenes I've ever seen.

19 Just Another Day At The Creepy Club

via YouTube (TheMatrixFan314)

Most of the time on these big budget films, studios will have to assure that a film has the proper scenes in place by having elaborate sets put up. However, in rare and intriguing turns of events, we get these instances where studios find the perfect location that already has the set up and background actors needed for a scene. The first film in the franchise was filmed in Sydney, Australia. This took on the role of the unnamed city in the film. The scene where Neo meets Trinity for the first time takes place at an exclusive adult night club.

However, the directors didn't have to look far for this scene.

They used the Hellfire Club in Sydney, which was already made for this exact purpose. They asked the patron regulars to show up in their leather-bound outfits and be themselves, and thus the scene was born.

18 Discount Casting

via Factinate

The roles we have all come to know and love have been proven to be nearly given to the wrong actors. While the actors themselves aren't bad, the portrayal of these roles are so iconic that having anyone else in that role is almost unheard of. This includes characters introduced later in the franchise. Characters who made their presence known and became integral to the film's plot. Believe it or not, but Seraph from the second and third film was originally meant to be portrayed by Jet Li. However the actor demanded to be paid the same amount as the main star Keanu Reeves. The studio then rewrote the role to be female and tried to cast Michelle Yeoh, but she had a scheduling conflict that prevented her from taking the role. Thus they ended up getting Collin Chou, who took the role for a much cheaper price.

17 Destroyed Donation

via YouTube (Fifth Gear)

Part of any action film's budget has to include the props and sets of any action scene. Most notably the scenes that involving car chases. One of the world's leading car production companies GM donated 300 cars to the making of the second film in the franchise, The Matrix Reloaded. However, it might shock you to know that all 300 cars were absolutely destroyed by the end of the filming process.

That is a lot of destruction for one movie.

You see, this all leads back to the massive freeway chase scene, where Morpheus and Trinity are protecting the Key Maker from these ghostly computer programs trying to end them. The scene involves several Agents, the Ghost Twins and the heroes all fighting along several cars, blowing some up while others are crashed into the freeway itself. The utter destruction caused by this scene would have put the budget over the top if not for the companies donation to the film.

16 Tragic Recasting

via Future War Stories

One of the heartbreaking realities of Hollywood is that some actors never get a chance to bring to life the roles they are cast in. This includes the Matrix trilogy, as one well-known entertainer was set to bring to life an important role, only to have her life cut tragically short. The second film featured a character named Zee, who was married to Link, the driver of Morpheus's ship. She would also go on to serve as an important soldier in the final battle with the machines in Zion.

However, the actress who portrayed her was not originally cast.

The role was meant for singer and actress Aaliyah, but she was tragically taken in an airplane crash. Her death led to actresses Eva Mendez, Samantha Mumba, Brandy Norwood and Tatyana Ali to read for the role, before it eventually went to Motown legend Marvin Gaye's daughter Nona Gaye.

15 Changing The Law

via TrivialMTB -

Here's one important lesson all of your aspiring filmmakers need to know before getting into a big project: always check your local law. Wherever you start filming, make sure you are up to date on the laws involved in your film's particulars. You never know what particular law is going to interfere and possibly interrupt your film. This was a hard lesson that Warner Bros. and The Matrix films had to face the first time around. The first film nearly faced a shut down after they inadvertently broke the law in Australia. They flew a helicopter through what they later learned was restricted airspace, and they had to fight to change the law in New South Wales in order to continue filming the scene with the helicopter. The helicopter scene in that first movie went on to become an integral one, featuring the rescue of Morpheus. It's an important scene, so changing the law was a much-needed win for the studio.

14 In Memorium

via YouTube (Movie Scene Provider)

Spoiler alert if you haven't finished the trilogy. In the final act of the final film, Neo makes the ultimate sacrifice, allowing the virus that is Agent Smith to make Neo a copy of himself. However, this turns out to be a ploy, allowing Neo to work from within Smith's programming to eradicate the virus once and for all. This costs Neo his life, but when we last see him the machines are carting off his body to some unknown place, after securing a peace with the human survivors.

Fans have speculated for years whether or not Neo would survive or come back.

However a small fact you may not have seen was that in the final scene of the film, the bench that the Oracle was sitting on had a dedication to Thomas Anderson on it. Thomas Anderson was Neo's real name, and thus presents the fact that Neo is truly dead.

13 The Secret Of Room 101

via YouTube (The ASMR Geek)

Easter eggs are a common trait in any big blockbuster film. More popular in the Marvel and DC Comic superhero films nowadays, the easter egg is a way to casually reference another property and also to allude to the significance of a particular person, scene or item in a film. That's what we got the very first-time audiences around the world met The One. The room where Neo lives at the beginning of the first film is room 101. This is a reference to George Orwell's 1984. Room 101 in the novel is where a person is subjected to their worst nightmare or phobia. This has been used to show that symbolically room 101 is where people or things are put to never be found. It shows that the machines did this to try and hide the one from the human resistance, but he was found anyway.

12 Copper Top

via Nerdist

One of the dark realities of the first film comes when Morpheus explains what the Matrix is to Neo. He says that essentially when the machine's took over, they turned humans into living batteries.

The humans would be grown and put into the Matrix, and their life force and energy would be used to power the machine's and their cities on Earth.

In essence, they were the same as a battery. This all occurred because technology and computer AI grew at a much faster pace than humans, and when the computers became self-aware they saw the need for humans was nonexistent. This led to the utter destruction of humanity, with the remaining humans either fighting to survive or being grown by the machines for fuel. When Neo first gets into a car with Trinity and her crew, Switch calls Neo "copper top", which is slang for a Duracell battery.

11 Dual Role Fiasco

via Imgur

Sadly one of the roles made famous in the original film of this franchise had a much more important social aspect to it. You see, the directors of the film wanted to create an androgynous role that could be portrayed by two very strikingly familiar actors and create a unique take on a character. Actor Belinda McClory originally auditioned to play one half of the role of Switch. In the first film, Switch was planned to be played by two androgynous actors in the film. One would be a male in the real world, while she would play the female version in the Matrix. However, Warner Bros. ended that storyline and had Belinda play both the Matrix and Earth version of Switch. Now there's no specific reason given by the studio why the put an end to this character's original intent, but it's sad to see such an important social issue get cast aside.

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