It’s been 15 years since Morpheus took us along on Neo’s ride into the Matrix in the Wachowski brothers science fiction masterpiece. Since that time we’ve had two lesser sequels and countless knockoffs attempting to recapture some of the original movie’s cinematic wizardry and inventive storytelling.
From the secret of those bullet time sequences to the studio’s first choice for the role of Neo, getting The Matrix made was no easy process. So without further ado, let’s pop that red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
1. The Wachowskis sold Warner Brothers on the project with the $10 million opening sequence. When the brothers first approached the studio about the project they had a projected budget of $60 million. The studio balked at the idea of giving them that much and instead offered them $10 million to shoot the film. The brothers spent the entire $10 million on the film’s opening sequence and impressed the studio enough that they were given the initial asking budget to finish the movie.
2. The altered studio logo was a dig at the system. According to Visual Effects Supervisor John Gaeta on the DVD commentary, the altered studio logo in the movie’s opening was done as a way of going against the system that stifles the creativity of writers and directors.
4. Laurence Fishburne wasn’t the only choice for Morpheus. Last week, we learned that the role was passed on by Russell Crowe. In addition to Crowe, Sean Connery and Samuel L. Jackson were also considered for the famous part.
8. Different tints for different worlds. While in the Matrix everything has a slight green tint, as if the viewer is watching everything through a computer. The scenes in the real world have normal coloring, while the battle between Morpheus and Neo has a yellow tint because it is neither in the real world or the Matrix.
15. Bullet time was more than just a cool looking effect. The Matrix is largely credited for its popularizing of bullet time, but besides being just a cool looking effect, it was meant to be a visual analogy for the characters’ moments of consciousness and control over time within the Matrix. Creating the effect involved time-splice photography in which several cameras are simultaneously triggered around an object. It gets a bit more complicated of course, so it’s probably best to let the film’s VFX guru, John Gaeta explain it.
SUCH AN ICONIC MOVIE. YOUR FAVES COULD NEVER.