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Will Smith and his video team have taken story telling to a whole new level, and this week, he responded to one of Hollywood’s biggest rumors in his latest vlog titled “Why I Turned Down The Matrix“.

The video description reads “It’s been gossiped about in Hollywood for years, but this is the true story.” So after years of speculation, Will Smith WAS suppose to play Neo in Matrix, but he turned it down.


In the video, Smith also recalls initially turning down his role in Men In Black, but eventually the film’s producer, Steven Spielberg convinced him otherwise.

This was one of his biggest films in his career at the time, and thought he couldn’t do wrong, but fast forward to 1998, he found out otherwise.

He took the pitch meeting for The Matrix, but without any visual aid, and it being the 90’s, just imagine what that “visual concept” sounded like.

“So, like, imagine you’re in a fight and then, like, you jump. Now imagine you can stop jumping in the middle of the jump”

Also at that time, Val Kilmer was first picked to play Morpheus, which would have changed things drastically.


So, instead, Will turned down The Matrix to make Wild, Wild West. In the video clip, Will lets us know how he felt about that decision:

“So…I made “Wild, Wild West”. I’m not proud of it” 

I was 10 when Wild, Wild West came out, but even as big of a fan of Will Smith that I was at the time, I even knew this movie was a flop. Anyway, that fact is Will Smith did turn down doing the Matrix, but sums it up like this:

“I probably would’ve messed “The Matrix” up. I would’ve ruined it. So I did y’all a favor.”

Will Smith is gearing up for the release of Aladdin, where he is playing the GENIE.




Watch: Will Smith Reveals Why He Turned Down The Matrix  was originally published on