Deepfake brings us what Will Smith as Neo in the Matrix would have been like
If you’re a film trivia bloke, you’re probably across the fact that before Keanu Reeves accepted the role of Neo in The Matrix, Will Smith was offered the gig. As the story goes, the Fresh Prince knocked it back so he could take a starring role in Wild Wild West. Of course, plenty of people have wondered just how the Wachowski’s cyberpunk-inspired sci-fi smash would have fared had Smith taken the role. Well, wonder no longer. This deepfake has got the answers…
We’ve spoken about deepfakes here before, so we’re not gonna spend a lot of time on it, but basically, it’s technology that lets you sort of Photoshop a person’s face into video. We’re aware that it’s probably a lot more complex than that – and it’s a cause of debate in many places – but that just about gives you the gist of it.
Anyway, Reeves was a bloody revelation in The Matrix. While he’s pretty much the ‘John Wick guy’ now, there are still plenty who’ll see him as ‘The Matrix guy’ for a while yet. He owned that role pretty friggen hard. But, you’ve gotta admit you’re curious as to how it would have turned out if Smith took the job, right?
Well, this Deepfake has the answers. And, thankfully, there’s no dodgy Will Smith song on the Soundtrack. Anyone who owned the original knows that it was a bloody ripper. You had plenty of quality hard rock on that one.
Anyway, for what it’s worth, Smith has spoken about why he knocked back the role of Neo in the past. On his own YouTube channel, he said:
“So after we made Men in Black, the Wachowskis, they came in and they had only done one movie. I think that movie was called Bound. And they came in and made a pitch for The Matrix. And as it turns out, they’re geniuses! But there’s a fine line in a pitch meeting between genius and what I experienced in the meeting. If I had done it because I’m black, then Morpheus wouldn’t have been black ’cause they were looking at Val Kilmer. So, I probably would have messed The Matrix up, I would have ruined it. I did y’all a favour.”
Have a bloody squiz at the video and let us know what you reckon.
Final thought: Look, it’s an interesting one. In all seriousness, the deepfake doesn’t seem as believable as some others we’ve seen. Give it a whirl and let us know if you reckon it would have made for a better or worse movie.
Just in case you missed it, here’s one of Ozzy’s latest commentary videos…Ozzy Man Reviews: Birds of Attitude
Video Link: Sham00k