Will Smith actually turned down the lead role of Neo in the 1999 Oscar award-winning movie The Matrix.
Now, Smith has done really well for himself without the role under his belt, and he has since revealed that he doesn’t really regret skipping on the part because he "wasn’t smart enough as an actor." Regardless, it’s fun to imagine what the movie would be like if Smith played Neo instead of Keanu Reeves, so YouTuber The Unusual Suspect decided to recut the trailer and do just that.
The Unusual Suspect originally submitted the clip to Reddit, where it gained a lot of attention, and he later explained exactly how he accomplished the video trickery over the course of about three days.
This took about 3 days. Sorry, don’t know the exact amount of time this took (should start logging this in the future).
I started by taking the official trailer for The Matrix and removing all of Keanu Reeves dialogue and footage. Then I had to replace the rest of the footage with more high quality footage (I used an old 1999 trailer).
Then I skimmed through Will Smith’s movies (I chose films like I Robot, Enemy of the State, Men in Black and Focus [amongst some others]). Once I came across a clip that fit into a scene from the trailer, I simply popped it in the timeline.
There’s about 10 instances here though where I put Will Smith INTO the shot. So there I looked for clips of Will Smith making a similar pose to Reeves. Then I rotobrushed in After Effects and color corrected. Then I removed Reeves in Photoshop, motion tracked accordingly, and voila.
As for Will Smith’s dialogue, sometimes I just got lucky whilst skimming and found something that fit. Other times, I found the needed dialogue by taking the scripts to Will Smith’s films and using CTRL+F to find what Keanu Reeves said. So for example, Reeves says "What is happening to me?". And I found Will Smith saying "What’s happening to me?" in Enemy of the State.
There’s one instance in this mash where I sentence mixed it though. When Will Smith says "What truth?", he actually says "THE truth" in the original clip from Focus. I just found a clip of him saying "What" in I Robot and put it in replace of "the".
Back in the late 90’s Will Smith was offered the role of Neo in ‘The Matrix’ but he turned it down. So I made a trailer that shows what the film might’ve looked like had he been cast.
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