Last month’s news that Warner Bros. is developing a reboot of “The Matrix” with “potential interest” in Michael B. Jordan starring, was met with mixed, although maybe slightly more negative reactions. But there are many who have embraced the potential this combo presents. As some have pointed out, given that Will Smith would have likely played Neo (instead of Keanu Reeves) if he didn’t turn down the role, rebooting the franchise with a black actor seems fitting.
As has been well documented, Will Smith turned down the role of Neo to make “Wild Wild West,” because, as he later stated, he was “not mature enough as an actor” at that time,[and that if he did take the role, he “would have messed it up.”
Maybe he was right; we’ll certainly never know; all we can do is speculate.
Although one YouTuber (named The Usual Suspect) with a lot of time on his/her hands has taken it a step further and put together a mashup trailer using footage from past Will Smith’s films (like “I, Robot” and “I Am Legend”) intercut with footage from the first “Matrix” movie, replacing Keanu Reeves with Smith.
It obviously doesn’t really show you what Will Smith would’ve looked like as Neo, but it’s a fun and actually rather seamless edit that some of you will get a kick out of. It went live earlier today and already has over 160,000 views (as of the time of this posting). Maybe Will Smith should actually team up with the Wachowski siblings to film a “Matrix” short film (5 minutes or so), , just for kicks.
Watch the “What if ‘The Matrix’ Starred Will Smith?” trailer mash-up by YouTuber The Usual Suspect, below: