Skip To Content

    21 "The Matrix" Behind-The-Scenes Facts That Are Downright Impressive

    The costume designs in The Matrix actually inspired Christian Dior's Fall 1999 collection.

    1. The "idea" for The Matrix originally started when the Wachowskis were asked by a friend to come up with a concept for a comic book.

    Warner Bros.

    They were big fans of kung fu movies, Japanimation, and Cyberpunk which clearly influenced The Matrix.

    2. The iconic "Bullet Time" shots were conceived specifically for The Matrix by visual effects supervisor John Gaeta.

    Warner Bros.

    120 cameras and two motion picture cameras were used to create the effect.

    3. And here's what the first "Bullet Time" test actually looked like.

    Warner Bros.

    Gaeta, who went on to win an Academy Award for his work on The Matrix, credits filmmakers Otomo Katsuhiro and Michel Gondry as being instrumental in the development of the "Bullet Time" technique.

    4. According to ~lore~ Switch was supposed to be a gender-fluid character.

    Warner Bros.

    Switch would've been played by a male actor in "reality" and a female actor in the Matrix.

    5. Neo hides his computer files in a copy of Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation — this is a book the Wachowskis actually had the lead actors read to prep for filming.

    Warner Bros.

    Supposedly it was to help the cast "better understand" the world The Matrix takes place in.

    6. Will Smith was actually approached for the role of Neo, but turned it down to do Wild Wild West.

    Will Smith / Via youtube.com

    According to Smith, Val Kilmer was being considered for the role of Morpheus across from him.

    7. The costume designs in The Matrix actually inspired Christian Dior's Fall 1999 collection.

    M2M / Via youtube.com

    According to reports at the time, the team was “deeply inspired by The Matrix."

    8. According to costume designer Kym Barrett, Neo's Matrix outfit incorporated a mix of cultures and religions including Japanese Samurai, 18th Century Chinese warriors, and even "cassocks" worn by clergy leaders.

    YASUYOSHI CHIBA / Via Getty, Warner Bros.

    Barrett even custom-designed his boots. "It had to be a sole that didn't say, 'Reebok,'" she joked to Fashionista.

    9. And Trinity's PVC-heavy outfit was meant to show that she was "like an oil slick," according to Barrett.

    Warner Bros.

    Barrett told Fashionista, "She's there, but she's not there. She's ever present and she tricks your eye. She's there when you least expect it."

    10. The reason the main characters wear sunglasses is to hide the eyes of those who knew the truth about the Matrix.

    Warner Bros.

    And all the iconic sunglasses were custom-made for each actor by designer Richard Walker and his line Blinde Design.

    11. Because the movie was made before body-scan technology, the actors actually had to have their heads plaster cast to make the sunglasses fit perfectly.

    Warner Bros.

    There were only two or three pairs made for each character (which is low for a movie) because Walker had to hand make each one.

    12. The key cast spent four months training in kung fu and wire-fighting at a specially designed training center.

    Warner Bros.

    A Hong Kong cinema technique that the Wachowskis integrated into their film — novel for western audiences at the time.

    13. When Neo rubs his nose with his thumb, this is a nod to icon Bruce Lee's "signature gesture."

    Warner Bros. / Golden Harvest

    Noice.

    14. Hugo Weaving got injured just two days into training, ended up having surgery, and was on crutches for six weeks.

    Warner Bros.

    As a result, production ended up moving all of Weaving's fight scenes to the end of the shoot.

    15. And Keanu had to train while wearing a neck brace because he was recovering from neck surgery (unrelated to the training) prior to filming.

    Warner Bros.

    In an interview with Rolling Stone he explained, "I had one old compressed disk and one shattered disk. One of them was really old, ten years, and eventually one started sticking to my spinal cord. I was falling over in the shower in the morning, because you lose your sense of balance."

    16. The scene where Keanu jumps from the building was a 35-foot wire drop that he actually did.

    Warner Bros.

    "They just had some guys and a machine dropping me upside down. I got good enough to do the front flip and the back flip and the run up the wall," he told Empire.

    17. The Wachowskis literally tracked down the contact information for fight choreographer Woo-Ping Yuen because they wanted him for their movie that badly.

    Warner Bros.

    Some of his other film credits you may recognize include Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the Kill Bill films among many, many more.

    18. The fire blasting through the lobby was a totally practical effect, here's what that looked like:

    Warner Bros.

    The elevator door flying through the air was created using CGI, however.

    19. The part of the lobby pillar that falls off after the gunfight was totally coincidental.

    Warner Bros.

    The funny accident worked so well they decided to leave it in.

    20. In case you've ever wondered what city The Matrix was filmed in, it was Sydney, Australia.

    u/canhale / Via reddit.com

    They spent five months shooting there.

    21. And the stage they filmed on in Sydney was brand new at the time — they were the first movie to film there.

    Warner Bros.

    The paint was literally still wet when they arrived.

    Love The Matrix? Well, SURPRISE...you can see it in theaters again (or for the first time) at Regal 4DX* theaters nationwide beginning Sept. 27!

    Tickets for the 20th anniversary screenings of The Matrix will be $10. To find the nearest 4DX location to you and to reserve your seat visit www.regmovies.com!