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“I took the red pill”: Brad Pitt Rejected $256,000,000 Paycheck, Forced Studio to Choose Keanu Reeves

"I took the red pill": Brad Pitt Rejected $256,000,000 Paycheck, Forced Studio to Choose Keanu Reeves

Brad Pitt has made several regrettable choices in deciding on movies over the years. Although the actor doesn’t consider it a mistake, Pitt was offered a very iconic role back in the late 1990s that he rejected for his own reasons.

Talking about the 1999 iconic movie The Matrix, Brad Pitt was initially offered the script. After reading the script, Pitt chose to reject the film, and the studio was forced to cast Keanu Reeves instead for the iconic role of Neo in The Matrix.

Brad Pitt.
Brad Pitt.

When Brad Pitt Rejected the Lead Role in The Matrix

Only if Brad Pitt had chosen to go with the project, the world would have been very different. The actor rejected a chance to pocket $256,000,000 back in 1999 for a valid reason that could have been avoided only if Pitt could have paid more attention.

Keanu Reeves as NEO in a still from The Matrix Reloaded
Keanu Reeves as NEO in a still from The Matrix Reloaded

Also read: “Whatta ya think? Too on the nose?”: Chris Evans and Brad Pitt Joined Forces to Take Down Homophobic ‘Straight Pride’ Movement, Blew it to Smithereens

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In an interview, the Troy actor revealed that he “took the red pill” back when the script was offered to him. Although he wouldn’t exactly call it a regrettable decision, it was something good that he quite clearly passed upon. During the run of the interview, the actor stated that after he read the script of The Matrix, he wasn’t able to understand the script enough to agree to the role.

“I did pass on The Matrix. I took the red pill. That’s the only one I’m naming … I wasn’t offered two or three. Only the first one. Just to clarify that. I come from a place, maybe it’s my upbringing, if I didn’t get it, then it wasn’t mine.”

He further continued,

“I really believe [the role] was never mine. It’s not mine. It was someone else’s and they go and make it. I really do believe in that. If we were doing a show on the great movies I’ve passed on, we would need two nights.”

The role was ultimately given to Speed actor Keanu Reeves who actually nailed the role pretty well. His portrayal of Neo in The Matrix franchise became one of the most talked about characters as he essentially became the face of the beloved classic franchise.


Suggested: “It’s always been a dream”: Keanu Reeves Wants to Play Live-Action Batman Despite Turning Down the Offer That Nearly Killed His Hollywood Career

Brad Pitt Is A Selective Movie Picker

Brad Pitt in Troy (2004)
Brad Pitt in Troy (2004)

Related: “I don’t care what you have, shoot something”: Brad Pitt’s Movie Was So Ridiculous He Wanted to Quit it Before the Shooting Was Over

Brad Pitt has been an avid fan of practical decision makings. In recent talks, the actor stated how much he disliked a particular film that he starred in back in 2004. Talking about the classic movie Troy, Brad Pitt revealed that he became more conscious of his choices after starring in that movie.

“I had to do “Troy” because — I guess I can say all this now — I pulled out of another movie and then had to do something for the studio. So I was put in “Troy.” It wasn’t painful, but I realized that the way that movie was being told was not how I wanted it to be. I made my own mistakes in it.”

As history would have it, Keanu Reeves and Brad Pitt became superstars through their own ways and movies. The almost Brad Pitt-starrer movie, The Matrix is available to stream on HBO Max.

Source: The Things

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Written by Visarg Acharya

Visarg Acharya, Associate Content Writer, has been heavily involved in movies, series, and history. Having an experience of 2 years in the field of content writing, Visarg is a seasoned writer. Having a degree in Physics, Visarg Acharya has published a dissertation alongside a plethora of poems and short stories along the way.