Back in the 90s the makers of the classic 1999 movie, The Matrix had a tough time filling the movie’s lead role of Neo. Before the role was given to Keanu Reeves a few A-list stars who were popular at the time were considered, with the makers offering the role to Sandra Bullock, and others who turned it down.
The movie’s producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, has revealed that Warner Bros. had put a lot of pressure on the makers of the movie to hire a big star to portray the leading role.
Sandra Bullock, along with other male actors like Will Smith, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio, was considered for the very important part of Neo.
We went out to so many people I don’t remember. We were getting desperate. We went to Sandra Bullock and said ‘We’ll change Neo to a girl.’ [Producer] Joel Silver and I worked with Sandy on ‘Demolition Man’ and she was and continues to be a very good friend of mine. It was pretty simple. We sent her the script to see if she was interested in it. And if she was interested in it we would try to make the change.
Sandra Bullock ended up turning down the role, but has said that she regretted not starring in The Matrix, but not as Neo, as his love interest Trinity (who was portrayed by Carrie-Anne Moss).
Brad Pitt ended up turning down the role of Neo because he had just finished filming a movie, and was too tired to take on The Matrix.
Will Smith has addressed his decision to turn down the role, saying that the pitch for the movie was confusing to him at the time. He admits to having made the Wild Wild West instead.
Would you have liked Sandra Bullock to portray the role of Neo in The Matrix instead of Keanu Reeves? Drop us a comment below and let us know.