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Sandra Bullock Was Offered Role of Neo in 'The Matrix' Before Will Smith and Keanu Reeves

Updated: Sep 19, 2019

In the realm of sci-fi action movies, Keanu Reeves' Neo is considered a modern icon. Sure, the second and third Matrix movies didn't live up to expectations, however, the first remains a certified classic. Because of this, it's always strange to hear about actors who could have played the lead role in the film, as the end result might have been totally different. In the past we've heard stories about Will Smoith and Brad Pitt, but apparently another name on the shortlist for the part was would-be Oscar winner and Reeves' Speed co-star, Sandra Bullock.

It's been previously reported that Bullock was one of the actresses up for the role of Trinity in The Matrix - a part that eventually went to Carrie-Anne Moss - but in a recent interview with The Wrap producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura revealed that the female lead wasn't always the role that the project had in mind for the star. According to him, there was a point where it was considered that the hero be gender swapped so that it could be played by the star of Hope Floats. Said Di Bonaventura,

Photo: Warner Bros.

We went out to so many people I don’t remember. We were getting desperate. We went to Sandy 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. It just wasn’t something for her at the time. So really it didn’t go anywhere.



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