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FASCINATING FACTS: 24 Little-Known Facts About “The Matrix”

The year 1999 changed the perception of the whole world and led us to question our own existence. The reason behind this change was mind-bending movie, The Matrix. It has been more than 15 years since the movie was released, yet we discover new facts about it that we have not heard of before. Thanks to IMDB, we have been able to put together 24 amazing facts about this movie which will definitely blow your mind away.

1. When Wachowski brothers presented their idea for The Matrix and quoted a budget of more than $80 million to Warner Bros., they were refused. Instead they were offered $10 million. Later when they created the opening scene and showed it to the executives, they were gave the green signal and the entire original budget.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Wachowski brothers estimated the budget for filming the entire movie to be more than 80 million dollars. When they presented this budget to Warner Bros., they were refused and instead the Wachowskis were offered only 10 million dollars.

Wachowskis accepted the money and used the entire amount to film the first ten minutes of the movie. They then showed the opening scene to the executives at Warner Bros. The executives were so impressed that entire original budget was allotted to the Wachowskis.(source)

2. For the character of Neo, Wachowskis’s first choice was Johnny Depp. But the studio wanted Keanu Reeves for the role and finally he won the role.

Image Source: www.dcdesigns.fr

The directors, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, wanted to cast Johnny Depp in the role of Neo in the beginning. Will Smith, Nicholas Cage, Val Kilmer and Bradd Pitt were also offered the role of Neo. But they all turned it down. Will Smith opted for the movie Wild Wild West instead. Nicholas Cage cited “family obligations” as the reason. Finally Keanu Reeves was chosen by the studio over the directors’ choice (Johnny Depp) because he was well-tuned into the movie’s concept which made a lot of difference during casting.(source)

3. In the movie, Neo works for the company, Metacortex. The name is coined from two root words, meta meaning “going beyond or higher, transcending” and cortex “the outer layer (boundary) of gray matter surrounding the brain”, according to Webster. Together it means “transcending the boundaries of the brain”. 

Image source: Warnerbros

Neo does the same thing in the movie.(source)

4. According to Greek mythology, Morpheus is the God of dreams and in the movie the job of Morpheus is to awaken the humans from virtual world to reality.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

In the movie Morpheus is the name of the leader of rebel force fighting against the machines. Morpheus, according to Greek mythology is the God of dreams. However, in the movie the character Morpheus does the opposite. He fights to wake the humans up from the Matrix, the virtual reality created by the machines to use humans as a source of energy.(source)

5. More than half the dialogues by Neo in the movie are made up of questions.

Image Source: Giphy

Neo has 88 lines in the first 45 minutes of the movie. Out of these, 44 lines are questions. It also goes with the theme of the movie, to be able to question what is happening around and to want to really see the “world” the characters live in. It is also resembles another theme of the movie – the book Alice in Wonderland, and how Alice is full of curiosity and constantly asking questions. Neo is the Alice of the Matrix and so 56% of all his dialogues are questions including: “What is Matrix?”(source)

6. When Neo wakes up in the pod he has an emaciated look. Keanu Reeves achieved this by losing 15 pounds and shaving his whole body.

Image Source: giphy

7. All main characters in the movie wears sunglasses which were custom designed for each one of them. The shape of the lens is different for the agents and the renegade group. Every bad guy (agents) wears rectangular lens while rounded lens is sported only by the good ones (renegade group).

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Sunglasses are an integral part of the movie’s costumes and have either rounded or rectangular lenses. The agents, who are sentient programs, wear the rectangular sunglasses while the renegade group wears the rounded ones. The round shape of the lens suggests that the renegade group are the real ones while the agents are with the machines. Even taking off the sunglasses was used to symbolically represent taking off a mask and expressing vulnerability as in the Morpheus’ torture scene where he is without his glasses, or being forthcoming as Agent Smith tries to be while interrogating Neo.(source)

8. The Desert Eagle pistol used by agents in the film was actually dismissed by the armorer, John Bowring, who referred to them as “wanker” pistols.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Wachowski brothers specifically chose IMI Desert Eagle Mark XIX pistol to be carried by the agents in the movie. But the armorer advised against using them who dismissed them as “wanker” pistols. However, they were used in the movie despite that.(source)

9. A few months before the beginning of the shoot Keanu Reeves had undergone a neck surgery for two-level fusion of his cervical spine, which was slowly paralyzing his legs. He was still recovering during the filming, which was why his character Neo doesn’t kick much in the movie.

Image Source: giphy

10. The first time Neo gets in the car with Trinity, Switch calls Neo “coppertop”, which is a slang for Duracell Battery.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Duracell batteries are also referred to as coppertops. The same battery is shown by Morpheus when he explains Neo how the human race has become a source of energy for the machines.(source)

11. In the movie, there are five significant colors, blue, green, red, yellow (gold) and white. Each color has a unique meaning.

In the movie, everything happening inside the Matrix has a green tint which represents the mind and its endless possibilities.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The real world has blue tint with reds in specific points. Blue represents the body where survival is the main concern.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The machine city is yellow (gold) and signifies the realm of spirit or heaven.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The red signifies danger, evil and the painful truth of reality. The color white appears at certain points in movie such as the scenes when the characters enter the Construct, their loading program. So, white symbolizes growth. Black is also a dominant color as majority of clothing and all the sunglasses are black. It depicts something that is impenetrable or unyielding.(source)

12. In the movie, except for the call traces and Neo’s PC, all other scenes with computer screens showing the Matrix code had numbers, reversed letters and Japanese katakana characters as the glyphs.

Image source: giphy

13. To create the authentic green look within the Matrix, every costume worn by the actors/ actresses was bathed in green dye. 

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Within the Matrix blue color was completely eliminated. There is a green tint on everything and this was done to make it look as if it was being viewed through a computer screen. To give the scenes that green tint, costume designer Kym Barret gave every costume worn within the Matrix, a green dye bath. Even the white and gray shirts were put in the green dye bath to bring out the green tint.(source)

14. When the helicopter scene was being filmed, the helicopters mistakenly flew through the restricted Sydney airspace . This nearly caused the film to be shut down. Later laws in the state of New South Wales in Australia were changed so that the filming of the movie could be resumed.

Image: giphy

15. Before Morpheus starts training Neo in the sparring program, Neo is seen briefly rubbing his nose with his thumb. This move is similar to Bruce Lee’s mannerism before attacking his opponent and it was improvised by Reeves for the scene.

Image Source: Giphy

16. The expiration date on Neo’s passport in the movie is September 11, 2001.  

Image Source: yournewswire.com

The photocopy of Neo’s passport can be briefly seen among the papers Agent Smith flips through during the interrogation scene. According to it, the passport was issued on September 12, 1991, and expires on September 11, 2001.(source)

17. In the original script, the role of Switch was to be played by an androgynous actor. In the real world Switch would be male and in the Matrix he would be female, hence the name Switch.

Image Source: giphy

It is believed that the character Switch reflects the Wachowski brothers’ struggle of the gender identity which was not known to the world at that time. The former Wachowski brothers, Larry and Andy, are now Wachowski sisters, Lana and Lily. The name Switch was inspired by the character’s male to female transition. However, the character was later decided to be female and was played by actress Belinda McClory.(source)

18. During the filming of the scene in which Morpheus walks Neo through an escape route on a cellphone, Keanu Reeves actually climbed up the window which was on the 34th floor.

Image source: giphy

Keanu Reeves climbed up the window himself without the aid of any stuntman while filming the scene where agents are looking for him and he tries to escape using a scaffolding near the window.(source)

 

19. After the scene depicting shootout in lobby, the camera goes back to show the aftermath of gunfight. At that time coincidentally a piece of pillar fell off and it was added in the movie. 

Image Source: giphy

After the fight in the lobby a piece of pillar fell off. The falling of a piece of pillar was not an arranged scene. But it looked so appropriate and natural that it was added in the final movie.(source)

20. While shooting one of her scenes Carrie-Anne Moss twisted her ankle. But she didn’t tell anyone about it until the filming was over so that they wouldn’t re-cast her. 

Image Source: www.scriptmag.com

21. The Greek phrase “gnothi seauton” meaning “Know Thyself” written at the entrance of the Oracle’s kitchen is a Delphic maxim inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. 

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

22. Laurence Wachowski (now Lana Wachowski) once stated that Sound Designer, Dane A. Davis, created the slow motion ripple effects in the movie by putting bullets on strings and whirling them around the studio. 

Image source: giphy

Sound Designer, Dane A. Davis, also created the Matrix code sound by digitizing raindrops against window panes. He created the whipping sound of punches too. It was created using thin metal rods which were recorded and then edited.(source)

23. In both the opening sequence and the closing sequence of phone trace program there were date stamps. The opening date was “2/19/98” and the closing date stamp was “9/18/99” showing that the events shown in the movie took place over a time period of 19 months.

In the opening sequence of the movie, a phone trace program shows the date “2/19/98”.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The closing sequence shows “9/18/99”.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

This shows that the duration of the events in the movie is 19 months.(source)

24. Scientists have claimed that soon it would be possible for us to learn new skills in the same way as shown in The Matrix by downloading them into our brain.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

In the movie, Neo loads jujitsu, boxing and a handful of other martial arts skills into his brain that he could use in the Matrix. Researchers from Japan and Boston have developed a decoded functional MRI neurofeedback method that could be used to impart brain activity patterns through a person’s visual cortex. The behavioral data from before and after the neurofeedback showed improved performance of the relevant task especially when the person is not aware of the nature of what they were learning. These experiments have given hope to the scientists that one day we could learn new skills just by downloading them into our brain instead of practicing days and years to master one single art.(source)

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