Movies The Matrix could have been a lot.. different/better/worse?

Of these two people considered for Neo, who would you rather have seen play the part?


  • Total voters
    7

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#1
I like to browse IMDB for random info about actors I follow and the other day I came across a very interesting tidbit. Well a few things:

First regarding Johnny Depp:

Was Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski's very first choice for the role of "Neo" in The Matrix (1999). Since Depp wasn't considered a box-office friendly name, Warner Bros. decided on casting Keanu Reeves instead.
Then Will Smith:

Turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix (1999).
I loved the Matrix movies. Knowing these two tidbits annoys me though. Apparently one of my favorite movie trilogies could have been much, MUCH better. Seriously had Johnny Depp or Will Smith played the role of Neo the entire movie would have been different. Mainly there would have been a lot less "Whoa" and a lot more better acting.

Does anybody else think these movies would have been better with either Johnny Depp or Will Smith playing Neo? Will Smith's wife was actually in the 2nd and 3rd movies as Naobe. I wonder if that decision was based at all on the fact that they originally wanted Will Smith in the movie.

Don't get me wrong I liked the movies as is but Keanu Reeves is so dry as an actor. It almost worked for his advantage in these movies because he comes across as very naive. I'd credit his brilliant acting for that but actually that's how he is in every movie he's ever been in.

So out of these two mentioned, who would you rather have seen play Neo if one of these would have worked out? Depp or Smith?
 

dDave

Guardian of the Light
V.I.P.
#2
Between Johnny or Will I definitely have to say Will I see him as a lot more fit for the role, Depp would be more on the weird side while Smith is more on the serious side.
 

R1pperZ

Registered Member
#3
Out of those two I'd say Depp would play a better role since Will smith's latest major roles have not been anything special. Still Keanu Reeves fits the role pretty well when you think about it. If Neo's character was overplayed I would not care for the movie at all, but Reeves put up a solid performance.
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#4
Definitely. I'm not bashing Reeves' performance as Neo. I won't say he's a better actor than Depp or Smith though. Those two could act circles around him with their eyes closed. ;)

I have actually really liked Will Smith's latest movies (I,Robot, I Am Legend, etc). I think he would probably be a better fit than Johnny Depp for the Neo role.

I can't decide though, because I've also followed most of Johnny Depp's recent movies. He tends to play odd characters that almost always require him to "become" somebody else. He could have played Neo just as well as Keanu did. Are you telling me a guy who played an extremely good pirate, then a demon barber, then Willy Wanka, then the countless other recent odd roles can't play a computer hacker? I think it's safe to say he could have knocked it down as well.
 

R1pperZ

Registered Member
#5
Depp can play anything well, and trust me dude.. Will smith would have ruined Matrix, think about it. I liked Irobot and I am Legend was alright but his action seems cheesy to me. If you dought Reeves then you don't really like the movies in the first place.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#6
I think Will Smith is too bland for the role honestly. I think he's a good actor, but he's basically the same character in every single movie he's in. I think Keanu was hilarious, but I think Depp would have acted the role better.
 

Italiano

Film Elitist
#7
Depp can play anything well, and trust me dude.. Will smith would have ruined Matrix, think about it. I liked Irobot and I am Legend was alright but his action seems cheesy to me. If you dought Reeves then you don't really like the movies in the first place.
First of all I don't believe any actor can play any role. That's why Cary Grant was pissed off for so many years :p.

I don't know how well Depp would have played the character. These days I notice how a lot of his characters are more or less a play off or a modification of a previous one with very similar mannerisms.

I think Smith is a more than decent actor but he I see a few of his natural mannerisms coming in and it doesn't exactly mesh well with the movie.

And just because I doubt Reeves means I don't like the movies?

I don't like the movies (the sequels more so) because they were overall laughably heinous. A futuristic technological matrix that's explored through a overly complicated and hypnotizing pseudo-philosophical/psychological fashion. That's just the first one. It gets much worse with Reloaded and Revolutions.
 
Last edited:

Altanzitarron

Tamer Of The LOLzilla
#8
Hmmm this is an interesting topic, I think Neo's role in the first film is to be an outsider. Someone who doesn't click with the artificial world around him and I think reeves did that really well. Changing the actor would undoubtably change the character.
Depp's performance would probably be closer to Reeves' than Smith's would be. I could imagine Depp playing the awkward cyber nerd but I'm not sure how convincing he'd be doing all the crazy flips and fighting.
Will Smith would probably add a bit more charm to the character, I don't think he can help it :lol: I'm not sure how convincing Smith would be in this part but I would love to see how different it would have been with him as the main character. Neo may appear to be slightly more well adjusted but then the whole film would seem different. I'm sitting on the fence, I can't decide.
 
Last edited:

ComicFitz

Registered Member
#9
The best thing that happened to the Matrix movie was when Will Smith turn down the role to do another movie, "Wild Wild West". Will Smith has that cocky, always right attitude and that would not have worked as Neo in the beginning. Johnny Depp is a scene stealer, he is to good of an actor, I think people would have focused more on Neo's character and less on the story of the Matrix. Keanu Reeves played Neo perfectly without overpowering his role, letting us get sucked into the story.
But since I must pick one, I would go with Will Smith. I would like to see a cocky, smartass Neo
 

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#10
Johnny Depp is a scene stealer, he is to good of an actor, I think people would have focused more on Neo's character and less on the story of the Matrix. Keanu Reeves played Neo perfectly without overpowering his role, letting us get sucked into the story.
But since I must pick one, I would go with Will Smith. I would like to see a cocky, smartass Neo
Johnny Depp was actually less popular than Keanu Reeves in 1998 or whenever they were casting this movie though. That's the funny part. He was turned down because WB wanted a bigger name to play Neo. Looking back they really missed the mark there. :D

Out of the two Johnny Depp would have played a Neo more similar to Keanu's. I went with Depp because I think it would have been cool seeing him as Neo. I wouldn't mind seeing both of them to be honest and I'm a big fan of both actors.
 
Top