“I don’t think it was his fault”: Keanu Reeves Nearly Had Romantic Relationship With Will Smith’s Wife In ‘The Matrix’ Before Carrie-Anne Moss’ Casting

“I don’t think it was his fault”: Keanu Reeves Nearly Had Romantic Relationship With Will Smith’s Wife In ‘The Matrix’ Before Carrie-Anne Moss' Casting
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Throughout his beautifully stacked Hollywood career, Keanu Reeves has given us more reasons to be awed by his overtly humane personality than be stunned by his incredibly successful films. The hero of modern-day action films, and one who redefined the genre in itself, has owned the 21st-century minds and dominated the industry with each of his premieres – the first of which was the 1994 film, Speed.

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And yet, it was without doubt, the Wachowskis who immortalized the actor and themselves with the launch of their revolutionary sci-fi action film, The Matrix, in 1999. For better or worse, this not only defined the dawn of a new era in the history of filmmaking but changed the course of several lives in the process.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix

Also read: “I want to make a movie like that”: Monica Bellucci Got Her Prayers Answered After Being Floored by Keanu Reeves in $1.7B Franchise

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The Matrix Almost Starred Jada Smith in the Role of Trinity

Despite the impossible love that surrounds the cast members of the 1999 film, and as difficult as it may be to visualize anyone else stepping into the indomitable roles of Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity, the casting process did have a few names that came dangerously close to finalizing a few candidates before Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss could find themselves signing their trilogy contract.

A couple of the most famous names that dropped out of taking on Neo were Brad Pitt and Will Smith. But when it comes to the female lead, it is the latter’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who got turned down for Trinity. In an interview with Howard Stern in 2015, the Gotham actress revealed:

“I auditioned for Trinity with Keanu, but Keanu and I didn’t, uh, really click… We just didn’t have any chemistry, he and I. I don’t think it was his fault. I think it was as much my fault as anybody.”

The screen test that the pair did alongside each other failed to bring the same level of intensity that Reeves and Moss displayed on-screen in the extraordinary Matrix films as Neo and Trinity. One can only consider the drastically different possibilities that would have awaited the audience if Will Smith had indeed signed on to play Neo. Jada Smith, however, did make an impression on the Wachowskis, who later penned the role of Niobe specifically for her.

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Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe
Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe

Also read: The Matrix: Greatest Neo-Trinity Moments That Made Us Say They Are the One

Keanu Reeves Closes Out the Grandest Arc of His Career

While The Matrix may have defined Keanu Reeves, having dominated the role of Neo across all four parts of the brilliant ambition of the Wachowskis, it was definitively John Wick that became his career-defining arc since he first broke ground with his tragic gun-blazing hero in 2014. 9 years later, the actor pulls down the curtain on his last stand as the incredible hero who stood against the entire world and won – for love and honor. However, The Matrix also awaited its last chapter, and in 2021, after two long decades (almost) Neo and Trinity did end their search for each other in The Matrix Resurrections.

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)
The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Also read: “He’s not threatening to men”: Keanu Reeves’ Appeal to Women Was a Big Reason Why He Was Chosen For $283 Million Action Movie

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The film, taking place 60 years after the events of The Matrix Revolutions, follows the mundane lifestyle of Neo who breaks out of his routine to rise once again against the system that blinds one to the reality that controls us. The narrative, as much as it navigates trauma and breaks new ground in psychology and filmmaking, also finds a cause to rally behind – love – the age-old catalyst of war. For Keanu Reeves, both Neo and John Wick have lived out the span of their tenure in and outside of the Matrix that guides us. One can only wait to see what the 58-year-old has in store for his fans in the years to come.

The Matrix films can now be streamed on Max.

Source: The Howard Stern Show

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Written by Diya Majumdar

Articles Published: 1488

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has nearly 1500 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh. Other skills include being the proud owner of an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists.